photo by flickr user paytonc
The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced that New York City’s Lower East Side, famous for it’s history of tenements and slums, is one of 11 architectural, cultural, and natural heritage sites that are most at risk “for destruction or irreparable damage.” By “damage”, they mean new luxury towers filled with wealthy people, replacing aged tenements filled with yuppies and hipsters.
From the NY Sun: ‘Endangered’ Is Designation as Lower East Side Waxes
Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at New York University, Mitchell Moss:
“The overall neighborhood is witnessing a transformation. And just as young people move into that area, I certainly hope they are not planning to bring back historically dangerous conditions like cholera, typhoid, and open sewers,”
Of course, this comes with downzoning, which will limit supply, drive up rent and land prices, and increase the incentive to tear down more buildings. Thus, quickening demolitions and gentrification. I can understand protecting a few particular locations or buildings, but to downzone the entire area will put a huge burden on the City’s housing supply.
Also, Curbed: The Lower East Side is an Endangered Species