1,401
Supporters

Use #SavePS31 to spread awareness via Twitter, Facebook and all social media! 

SAVE PS 31 AKA THE CASTLE ON THE CONCOURSE 

New York City is filled with many edifices that are as much a part of the fabric which makes up this city as are the people who walk their corridors.

Just a few short blocks from where the Grand Concourse begins, that boulevard of dreams, sits PS 31.

Affectionately known as the Castle on the Concourse by local residents and the thousands who walked its halls, the school sits decaying as if in mockery at the all the urban renewal that has sprung up from the rubble.

The landmarked building has sat vacant since it was deemed unsafe in 1997. As the years passed it by and the neighborhood began a strong revival, the building deteriorated.

It is almost criminal that the city has sat on its hands for 18 years letting such an important building waste away to the point that now it has been recommended to be demolished.

There are many questions that need to be answered and officials need to be held accountable. Why was this building neglected for so long? Had it perhaps been in Brooklyn or Manhattan then maybe it would have been salvaged immediately.

It is very interesting that the building sits in the middle of a 30 block district known as the Lower Concourse Rezoning where underutilized buildings were rezoned from commercial and manufacturing to residential to encourage the continual revitalization of the neighborhood. It is strategically located one stop from Manhattan and 15 minutes from midtown making that swath of land – including the waterfront – quite a catch for someone.

Even more interesting is that once Goldman Sachs showed interest in restoring the landmark building to its former glory and converting it into apartments and artist space the city began pushing very hard for HPD and Department of Buildings to declare the property unsafe.

During a community board 1 meeting over the summer, a representative from Sobro presented to the Board that engineers found the building badly deteriorated but to be salvageable.

The City testified saying that it couldn't withstand more storms and was a public hazard and YET after 2 brutal winters have passed SINCE the June 2013 hearings at Community Board 1, PS 31 is STILL standing and is in the same condition.  

On December 17th, 2013, Landmarks Preservation Commission recommended NOT strip the landmark status of the building and recommended and URGED the city to find ways to salvage the building.

"Both New York City Department of Buildings and HUD could not provide enough evidence as to why Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) should strip PS 31’s landmark status even in the edifice’s deteriorating condition.

The city agencies tried hard to convince the Commission to approve the application to strip the beloved Castle on the Concourse landmark status so that they could demolish it but instead were met with resistance.

LPC instead, lambasted all city agencies responsible for letting such a beloved structure that means so much to the community to decay. Despicable, shameful, and appalling were just some of the words used by the members of the Commission as they took turns to comment and voice their agreement or disagreement with the application to de-landmark the vacant school.

Only one Commission member voted to approve the application citing the safety concerns however most other members reiterated that anything that can be done to shore up the building should be done."

That is why we are asking all of you who are fond of this building to the and want to see it saved and restored to sign this petition and share with your network and everyone you know.

We cannot let our city and politicians to get away with neglect of our landmarked treasures.

PLEASE CIRCULATE THIS PETITION!

Use #SavePS31 to spread awareness via Twitter, Facebook and all social media! 

 

Letter to
Landmarks Preservation Commission
Landmarks Preservation Commission
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr
and 11 others
New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito
State Senator Jose M. Serrano
New York City Public Advocate Letitia James
HPD Director of Bronx Planning Ted Weinstein
City Council Speaker District 17 Maria Del Carmen Arroyo
City Council Member - Landmarks, Public Siting & Maritime Uses Subcommittee Annabel Palma
City Council Member - Landmarks, Public Siting & Maritime Uses Subcommittee Ben Kallos
City Council Member - Landmarks, Public Siting & Maritime Uses Subcommittee Rosie Mendez
City Council Member - Landmarks, Public Siting & Maritime Uses Subcommittee Peter Koo
City Council Member - Landmarks, Public Siting & Maritime Uses Subcommittee Stephen T. Levin
Bronx Borough Director Elvin Garcia
Protect PS 31 and Save It From Demolition


SAVE PS 31 AKA THE CASTLE ON THE CONCOURSE

New York City is filled with many edifices that are as much a part of the fabric which makes up this city as are the people who walk their corridors.

Just a few short blocks from where the Grand Concourse begins, that boulevard of dreams, sits PS 31.

Affectionately known as the Castle on the Concourse by local residents and the thousands who walked its halls, the school sits decaying as if in mockery at the all the urban renewal that has sprung up from the rubble.

The landmarked building has sat vacant since it was deemed unsafe in 1997. As the years passed it by and the neighborhood began a strong revival, the building deteriorated.

It is almost criminal that the city has sat on its hands for 18 years letting such an important building waste away to the point that now it has been recommended to be demolished.

There are many questions that need to be answered and officials need to be held accountable. Why was this building neglected for so long? Had it perhaps been in Brooklyn or Manhattan then maybe it would have been salvaged immediately.

It is very interesting that the building sits in the middle of a 30 block district known as the Lower Concourse Rezoning where underutilized buildings were rezoned from commercial and manufacturing to residential to encourage the continual revitalization of the neighborhood. It is strategically located one stop from Manhattan and 15 minutes from midtown making that swath of land – including the waterfront – quite a catch for someone.

Even more interesting is that once Goldman Sachs showed interest in restoring the landmark building to its former glory and converting it into apartments and artist space the city began pushing very hard for HPD and Department of Buildings to declare the property unsafe.

During a community board 1 meeting over the summer, a representative from Sobro presented to the Board that engineers found the building badly deteriorated but to be salvageable.

The City testified saying that it couldn't withstand more storms and was a public hazard and YET after 2 brutal winters have passed SINCE the June 2013 hearings at Community Board 1, PS 31 is STILL standing and is in the same condition.

On December 17th, 2013, Landmarks Preservation Commission recommended NOT strip the landmark status of the building and recommended and URGED the city to find ways to salvage the building.

Both New York City Department of Buildings and HUD could not provide enough evidence as to why Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) should strip PS 31’s landmark status even in the edifice’s deteriorating condition.

The city agencies tried hard to convince the Commission to approve the application to strip the beloved Castle on the Concourse landmark status so that they could demolish it but instead were met with resistance.

LPC instead, lambasted all city agencies responsible for letting such a beloved structure that means so much to the community to decay. Despicable, shameful, and appalling were just some of the words used by the members of the Commission as they took turns to comment and voice their agreement or disagreement with the application to de-landmark the vacant school.

Only one Commission member voted to approve the application citing the safety concerns however most other members reiterated that anything that can be done to shore up the building should be done.

That is why we are asking all of you who are fond of this building to the and want to see it saved and restored to sign this petition and share with your network and everyone you know.

We cannot let our city and politicians to get away with neglect of our landmarked treasures.