NYU and the Destruction of New York
Tonight at 7, Peter Carey, Fran Lebowitz, Kevin Baker, Joseph McElroy and Jefferson Mays will all be in the store to protest NYU’s Sexton Plan.
The Sexton Plan may not be familiar to those of you who don’t live in the Greenwich Village or are affiliated with NYU, but it should. This is a proposal that anyone who cares about New York should know about, and be concerned about.
NYU’s expansion plan, as proposed, will erect up to 2.5 million square feet of new building space in the Greenwich Village. In the process, they will destroy three acres of green space. That includes the Sasaki Gardens, the Mercer Street Dog Run, the Key Park Playground and a beautiful grove of trees. It also will require 20 years of continuous construction, without any delay, to begin this August.
The replacement? A number of NYU buildings, including eventually, a pedestrian mall slung between two skyscrapers. This is not the Greenwich Village you think of when you think of Dylan Thomas and James Baldwin and Jackson Pollock and John Cage living in its streets and making art. It’s not even the Greenwich Village you think of now, full of young people and old, dogs and stragglers, tourists and long-time residents. Imagine Washington Square Park. Now imagine it in the shadow of a 48-story hotel tower.
Peter Carey, Fran Lebowitz, Kevin Baker, Joseph McElroy and Jefferson Mays (reading the work of Eileen Myles) will all be present to speak against the plan, and refreshments (wine) will be provided.
They’re mad. We’re mad. And you should be too.
McNally Jackson Books is at 52 Prince Street between Lafayette and Mulberry.
[Image via Curbed]