Photos by Stacie Joy
This past Saturday afternoon, local elected officials, residents and supporters commemorated the 20th anniversary of the eviction of the Charas/El Bohio Community & Cultural Center at 605 E. Ninth St. between Avenue B and Avenue C.
Several speakers, including longtime neighborhood activists and past and present elected officials, called on the city to take action to immediately "stop the destruction of the building," the former P.S. 64
Developer Gregg Singer, who bought the property from the city during an auction in 1998, has wanted to turn the building into a dorm called University Square. The DOB continues to maintain a Stop Work Order on the property.
In years past, there has been a call for the return of the building for community use. The building became the Charas/El Bohio Community Center after the school left in 1977. The group was eventually evicted in December 2001 when Singer took over as the landlord. It has sat empty these past 20 years, causing locals to be concerned about its crumbling façade.
Given this movement some hope: Mayor Bill de Blasio's statement at a Town Hall on Oct. 12, 2017, that the city would take steps to reacquire the building. According to published reports, the Mayor said he'd work to "right the wrongs of the past." Those plans have never materialized.
EVG correspondent Stacie Joy was there on Saturday...
Previously on EV Grieve: