Why Is New York City Planning to Sell and Shrink Its Libraries?

Defend our libraries, don't defund them. . . . . fund 'em, don't plunder 'em

Mayor Bloomberg defunded New York libraries at a time of increasing public use, population growth and increased city wealth, shrinking our library system to create real estate deals for wealthy real estate developers at a time of cutbacks in education and escalating disparities in opportunity. It’s an unjust and shortsighted plan that will ultimately hurt New York City’s economy and competitiveness.

It should NOT be adopted by those we have now elected to pursue better policies.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

As The “Library Squasher” Rises, Developer of Luxury Towers Advertises Views From Middle Apartments (On 26th Floor) That Look Down On Federal Courthouse Once Challenged as Too Tall

The wealthy who can afford to buy apartments on the floors in the upper portion of the luxury building replacing the central destination downtown Brooklyn library may expect to look down on justice, both figuratively and literally.   This view of federal courthouse is from the 26th floor.
The luxury condo tower, which in a shrink-and-sink deal is replacing the Business, Career and Education Federal Depository Library in Downtown Brooklyn, is still only around two-thirds complete, but the developer is advertising the impressively commanding views that will make new residents coming to the building feel like they are the kings and queens of the neighborhood.

The stratospheric views offered on the developer’s website are not from the very top of what will be the 36-story, 400+ foot tall building; they are only from partway up, from the height of the 26th floor. . .

Nevertheless, from that still much lower height, the view that will be offered looks down on the federal courthouse across on the other side of Cadman Plaza Park that was once challenged, with some success, by neighbors in the locality as being too tall.

There is another interesting twist in this, the neighbors who legally challenged the federal courthouse building as being too tall hired a lawyer and urban planner named Michael White to mount their legal challenge.  The Michael White that they hired is not the same Michael White, the Michael D. D. White, the lawyer and urban planner who, as co-founder of Citizens Defending Libraries, opposed the wreckage and sacrifice of the central downtown library to build this truly enormous luxury tower.  The two Michael Whites did once meet professionally however. . .

. . . Michael D. D. White, the co-founder of Citizens Defending Libraries, contrary what the other Michael White said, thought that the federal courthouse, an important public building, was not too tall.  Even if it had been taller, it would be no match for height of the luxury building going up now.  For more on this back story see Noticing New York: Not THAT Michael White, August 13, 2008.

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