With news of N.Y.U.’s proposed plan to expand their New York City campus by 40%, this photo shows us what the view through the Arch would be like if there was no building at 58 Washington Square South (which NYU acquired and plans to make 6-7 stories – it was previously two – next to Kimmel Center) – right now, you can actually see through to West 3rd Street!
Speaking to the New York Times about the proposed expansion, New York University President John Sexton (reached in Qatar, near N.Y.U.’s new Abu Dhabi campus) responds as if he is new to the scene. He states, “It’s clear that N.Y.U. had a history of moving forward without listening.” Just how long has John Sexton been President of N.Y.U.? Since 2001! A lot of that “moving forward without listening” occurred on his watch.
The paper informs us: “Between 1991 and 2001, the number of students living in N.Y.U. housing tripled to 12,000, from 4,000, as the university raised its national profile. (In the early ’90s, 50 percent of its students came from the metropolitan area; now that figure has declined to 10 to 15 percent.) By 2031, N.Y.U. expects its total student body to grow to 46,500 students, up from the current 41,000.”
The Times reports: “In its Washington Square neighborhood, the university will be creating the equivalent in square footage of a little more than the total floor area of the Empire State Building.”
Mr. Sexton, who alarmed me when I heard his perplexing speech in support of Mayor Bloomberg’s quest to overturn voted-in term limits (as I wrote at the time: More Bloomberg, More NYU), stated: “For New York to be a great city, we need N.Y.U. to be a great university.”
Actually, I’m sure many would argue in order for New York to be a “great city,” we need less N.Y.U. Fewer N.Y.U. flags planted amidst every inch of our communities and neighborhoods. And historic spaces like the Edgar Allen Poe House and Provincetown Playhouse as well as cultural spots which added to the vibrancy of the neighborhood like The Bottom Line preserved – not demolished – by the overreaching arm of N.Y.U. expansion.
Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, states: “N.Y.U. seems to have worked on their P.R. machine quite a bit, but the reality of what they’re doing — which is taking over more and more of the neighborhood — doesn’t seem like it’s changed very much. They’ve given everybody the opportunity to say what they think and then they’ve largely ignored that feedback.”
To learn more: Wednesday, April 14th 5:30-8 p.m. N.Y.U. will present its 2031 Expansion Plan, Kimmel Center, 10th floor, 60 Washington Square South (at LaGuardia Place)
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*** Coming Next Week: Photos of New Construction at Washington Square Park! ***