Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cathedral seeks Divine intervention, preservationists voice condemnation over proposed apartment development

From New York-

The struggle continues over Morningside Heights’ grand cathedral.

A Community Board paved the way for the cash-poor Cathedral of St. John the Divine to build two more apartment towers and bring much-needed moolah to the Episcopal Diocese of New York, while still allowing most of the campus to be landmarked.

Sounds good, except that local preservationists, residents and even the newly elected City Councilman are promising to continue raising holy hell.

“No one wants to see this building come up over here,” said Laura Friedman, president of Morningside Heights Historic District Committee, which opposes the development and launched an online petition. “We’re continuing this fight. It is not over.”

Community Board 9 approved a resolution last week calling on the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to landmark the Cathedral campus — minus the north side, where the church hopes to build two 14- to 15-story buildings. The Diocese hopes to generate roughly $1 million a year, money that will pay for long-needed repairs.

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