Nurses' Residence is Illegally Demolished
Dec 3, 2020 —
The petitioners always believed by the evidence we were discovering that the City was without authority to demolish these buildings. Whatever authority the City had by way of the Memorandum of Agreement, it had lost such right because it did not follow the terms of the agreement and/or conclude the project development process.
The following email was sent out to HHC and the other signatories by the lead agency, the Federal Highway Agency, confirming our belief...
To signatories and agencies party to the MOA:
In response to the ongoing correspondence for the subject Memorandum of Agreement, the FHWA New York Division Office in consultation with our Federal Preservation Officer in HQ’s, would like to clarify any miscommunication there is about the implementation of the mitigation commitments defined in stipulations 1 and 2 of the attached Section 106 MOA. This Section 106 agreement is not legally valid or binding as the project sponsor did not conclude the project development process and obtain a signed NEPA document from FHWA. The project has not expended any federal grant money and can be deemed none existent. Should the project sponsor choose to move forward with the project, they must obtain a signed NEPA document from FHWA. Since this MOA was signed in 2008, there has been a long enough gap in time, that FHWA would require the project sponsor to reinitiate the Section 106 consultation and start “a-new” with the consultation process.
Unfortunately, the above letter was recently sent out. However, the City always knew that it didn't conclude the project development process. Therefore, the City was wrong to tear down the building, despite the letter reaching it so late.
But there is still hope to preserve the Women's Pavilion. Let's keep the fight going.
Photo: the start of the Nurses' Residence demolition. October 2020.
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