Former site of Provincetown Playhouse…
On looking at this site on Sunday (6/28), when these photos were taken, it sure didn’t look like much had been preserved despite New York University ultimately agreeing to a mere pittance of preservation at this historic site. This agreement was “to preserve the four walls and entry facade of the theater portion of the building.” Why does this University not care about architecture and historical preservation?
I asked Andrew Berman from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation why these buildings aren’t protected by Landmarks regulations. He informed me that they currently fall outside of the designated Greenwich Village historic district outlined by the Landmarks Preservation Commission(LPC). There is work being done by GVSHP and others to include the South Village – and the LPC recently made strides to “calendar” serious consideration of expanding the district – however, currently it is not protected. (You can read more about it at GVSHP’s site.) This accounts for NYU’s plans being largely unregulated despite all their talk about wanting to be a “good neighbor.”
Neither the former Provincetown Playhouse or the other building NYU recently got its hands on, 58 Washington Square South (directly across from the Park between Judson Church and NYU’s Kimmel Center – another architectural blunder), are protected in any way and the University has shown that they do not stick to their word.
Mr. Berman stated:
“While the 58 Washington Square South site is not in a designated historic district, it is within GVSHP’s proposed South Village Historic District, which NYU begrudgingly, after flip-flopping several times, agreed to support. In spite of that pledge of support, however, they demolished the building on the site, much as they have with the Provincetown Playhouse and Apartments building at 133 MacDougal Street, also within the proposed South Village Historic District. So while these sites do not yet fall under LPC regulation, one might have thought that NYU’s pledge to support landmark designation would mean buildings within it were at least safe from demolition by them, but one would be wrong.”
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