Save the Sunlight on St. Nicholas Houses. Stop the 15 Story Tower.
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Sunlight is an essential component of life. And the St. Nicholas Houses are about to lose much of their afternoon sunlight because a 15-story tower is about to be built on Frederick Douglass Boulevard.
This project must be stopped until a proper environmental assessment is performed. The first one deliberately ignored the environmental impact on the St. Nicholas Houses. And if the assessment concludes that the environment will be harmed, the permits must be revoked and the project must be modified.
As demolition is occurring, we have to act fast. We have to tell Community Board 10, we have to tell Councilman Perkins, Borough President Gail Brewer, Public Adovcate Letitia James, and the HPD that they need to intervene and stop the building to protect the community.
The St. Nicholas Houses were designed to provide sunlight and green space to residents of Harlem. And that sunlight has been a benefit of the houses, both to the residents and to those who live by it. Mayor La Guardia, who pioneered public housing in NYC said, “If there is one thing I hope to do before my time is up, it is to give the people of my city, in place of their tenements, decent, modern, cheerful housing with a window in every room and a lot of sunshine in every window.”
The proposed building set to be built at 2395 Frederick Douglass Blvd (where the Bravo supermarket once stood between 128th and 129th streets) is going to be 15 stories, 160 feet tall. It will take away the sunlight that was part of the design of St. Nicholas Houses.
This extreme height means that the St. Nicholas Houses, including the public plazas, green spaces, and a number of the buildings will be shaded much of the afternoon for most of the year.
That sunlight is about more than just light. It's a reason to linger outside and sit on the benches. It's a reason to take a walk through the neighborhood. The light helps grow the trees and grass, which both clean the air and act as heat sinks in the summer. There's even proof that streets with greenery are safer than those without. This benefits not only the people in St. Nicholas Houses, but those who live across the street, nearby, even those who pass through.
If we don't make a proper evaluation now, we'll be stuck with this tower for generations. It's cheaper and smarter to assess the impact now rather than wait for the damage to occur and figure out how to fix it.
Sign on now to stop the building because the discussion that was supposed to take place in regards to changes like this never happened.
(Btw, the images above were taken from the Environmental Assessment Statement #15HPD152M_EAS_09142016. Notice how the aerial photo shows the green spaces around the Houses, while the shadow renderings improperly renders those green spaces white, and yet colors both St. Nicholas Park and area community gardens green)
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