We've written a lot about what has (and mostly HAS NOT) transpired here through the years here at 605 E. Ninth St. between Avenue B and Avenue C. (The commemoration looks to be happening on the 10th Street side of the building starting at 12:30.)
Here's a recap via the office of District 2 City Councilmember Carlina Rivera:
Lower East Side elected officials, residents, and artists rally to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the eviction of Charas/El Bohio Community & Cultural Center to call on the City to take action to immediately stop the destruction of the building.For over 20 years, Charas/El Bohio Community & Cultural Center provided arts, community and nonprofit space for the Lower East Side and greater New York City area. Mayor Rudy Giuliani auctioned the city-owned building in 1998. Developer Gregg Singer purchased the building and evicted the center on Dec. 27, 2001.Two decades later, the building remains vacant and has been allowed to deteriorate to the extent the Department of Buildings issued a Full Vacant Order in 2019 for failure to maintain the property.The owner Gregg Singer has taken no significant steps to repair the damage, stabilize the building, or restore the facade, and is currently in foreclosure by mortgagor Madison Capital Realty.Mayor Bill de Blasio stated at a Town Hall on Oct. 12, 2017, that the city would take steps to reacquire the building. The administration has yet to act, despite follow-up inquiries from the community coalition and its elected officials. Community activists and elected officials alike call on the City once again to take steps to save this local treasure.The rally will kick off hours of street performances by local artists, poets and musicians that showcase our decades-long efforts to return this once-vibrant center to the community.
As previously reported, Singer has wanted to turn the building into a dorm called University Square. The DOB continues to maintain a Stop Work Order — dating to August 2015 — on the property.
In years past, several local elected officials, community activists and residents have asked for the return of the building for community use. The building became the Charas/El Bohio Community & Cultural Center after the school left in 1977. The group was eventually evicted when Singer took over as the landlord. It has sat empty these past 20 years, causing locals to be concerned about its crumbling façade, among other issues.
This link features Singer's POV on what has transpired with the building.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Photo from March by Stacie Joy