EAST VILLAGE, NY — The emotional protests of hundreds of community members, preservationists and an impassioned speech from State Sen. Brad Hoylman in August couldn't sway the mayor's office from stopping the demolition of five historic brownstones in the East Village to make way for a hotel targeted toward millennials.
Construction workers have been emptying out the five buildings all month to make way for their demolition in the next coming month or so. On Monday morning, there were signs on the front doors of the buildings at 112-120 E. 11th St. that said the buildings were undergoing asbestos abatement. Carlos Espinoso, a construction worker on site, told Patch last week he expected the demolition in about a month. A reader of EVGrieve submitted photos last week of the work they've been doing on the roof.
The five Old Law tenement buildings, built from 1887 to 1892, are planned to be demolished to make way for a new Marriott branch targeted at millennials called Moxy. The Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the buildings as eligible to be named historic landmarks in 2008, but the property was never brought before the committee for a hearing.
Several neighborhood groups wrote a proposal to the LPC two months before the decision to demolish the buildings, asking the LPC to save them. The LPC did not respond to the letter until the city approved the demolition permits, the groups said. The LPC responded that it did not believe the buildings were worthy of historic designation.
Hoylman in August called on the developer who owned the buildings, David Lichtenstein of the Lightstone Group, to preserve the buildings and the affordable housing that went with them. Lichtenstein is on the board of directors of Mayor Bill de Blasio's New York City Economic Development Corporation, which put him in a good position to "do the right thing," Hoylman told Patch in August.