Saturday, January 19, 2008

Maybe this is the kind of thing people will want to see...

Where there's a will, there's a way...

" WRAPAROUND CONSTRUCTION A rendering of 160 East 22nd Street shows how the developer of a 21-story condo will adapt to longtime residents who refuse to go away. "

The photo and caption above appear in an article in tomorrow's "New York Times" Real Estate section titled They Didn’t Use a Shoehorn by J.C. Hughes. Apparently, development can occur without total decimation of charm and history. The rendering above illustrates what the synergy of creative architects and tenacious preservationists can create.

Interesting quotes:

"Not all holdouts need to be skirted; some can actually be incorporated. That’s the approach being taken by the 21-story 145-room Cooper Square Hotel at East Fifth Street. A four-story brick tenement adjacent to the hotel — unlike three other buildings on the lot — is not being razed, because its tenants wouldn’t relocate."

"Mr. Moss says he considers it an asset that guests in the $100 million hotel, which opens this summer, may peer down on a tenement roof where laundry is being hung out to dry.

“That’s the kind of thing people want to see,” he said. "

Friday, January 11, 2008

Variations on a Theme

Lo these many months I've seen his banner as the 1 train emerges from its Broadway tunnel for a breath of air north of 125th street. Today, I've met the man who put it there.

In the Metro section of today's "New York Times" Robin Finn profiles Nicholas Sprayregen in a piece titled Pushing Back as Columbia Moves to Spread Out. Mr. Sprayregen is the well-heeled underdog of this story as he puts his money where his mouth is to protect his property and stand up for a principle.

Interesting quote:

“This is about the powerful growing more powerful at the expense of those who have less. Columbia is not a public university; what they’re doing by threatening to use eminent domain is as unethical from a business perspective as anything I’ve ever come across. Property rights abuse is running rampant, but what’s unique in this instance is that eminent domain always seems to be used against the down-and-out, people who can’t afford to fight back in a meaningful way. I can. But I think it’s anti-American that I’m probably on the losing side.”

"An intelligent person fights for lost causes, realizing that others are merely effects."

-e e cummings

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Also interesni...

On Sunday, the Hudson Valley Singers will give a performance of Russian opera choruses and arias from Tsar's Bride, Eugene Onegin, Boris Godunov, Sadko, Prince Igor, Cherevichki, Ruslan & Lyudmila, and Maid of Pskov.

The performance is conducted by the Metropolitan Opera's Assistant Chorusmaster, Eugene Sirotkine, and features as soloists Natalya Kraevsky (soprano), Olga Andronikova (mezzo-soprano), Daniel Clark Smith (tenor) and Vladimir Shvets (bass).

When: Sunday, January 13, 2008, 2:30 PM
Where: German Evangelical Church of St. Paul
315 West 22nd St. between 8th & 9th Avenues in Manhattan
Tickets: $25 at the door/$20 in advance.
Information: Call (914) 674-2865 or log onto


John Tagliabue's article A Cathedral Resists the Label ‘Property of Russia’ in today's New York Times.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

We Are Still in People's Thoughts

Jeremiah Moss of Jeremiah's Vanishing New York has also included Our Lady of Vilnius in his endangered list, 2008: A Bleak Look Ahead, posted on January 1.

We are in very good company. I pray that our little church will stand as tall as possible among the towers of glass oppressing the local skyline.

Thanks to Jeremiah for remembering us.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Endangered Churches: A phenomenon attracts attention

This morning's "New York Post" features an article by Julia Vitullo-Martin titled Due to Ex-spire

The article addresses the financial gain to be had from the sale of any properties in the metropolitan area and remarks on churches of all denominations that are being demolished, or soon will be demolished. The article also remarks that the pattern of demolition is so unheralded that the average citizen is unaware until the scaffolding is erected.

Our Lady of Vilnius is one of several churches included in the article's "In Jeopardy" list.

Thanks to the "New York Post" for remaining aware of our situation.