On April 21, 1831, New York University was chartered as the University of the City of New York by a group of prominent New York residents who believed the city needed a place of higher learning were students were admitted not by birthright or social class but on merit. Construction began on the University Building on Washington Square East, becoming the first permanent building of the University in July of 1832, three months before classes begin on October 1st of that same year.
Almost 181 years to the day later, GVSHP will be participating in a rally with Assemblymember Deborah Glick, NYU Faculty and Graduate Workers, and several community groups against the NYU 2031 plan. It is at 4pm today, starting at Houston and Mercer Streets and ending in Washington Square – see the flyer HERE. This will be an important opportunity to get the word out about the City Planning Commission hearing on the 25th, and to send a message to city officials elected and community leaders that we continue to strongly oppose the NYU plan.
Why is this fight so important? Last week Borough President Scott Stringer voted to recommend approval of the NYU plan based upon a 16% reduction in the size of what would be the largest development project in the Village’s history. GVSHP continues to oppose the revised plan, which would still overwhelm the neighborhood with NYU’s ever-expanding presence, would still turn a residential neighborhood into a 20-year construction zone, would still give away public land, would still strip neighborhood zoning and open space preservation protections, still ignores vastly preferable alternative locations, and would still abrogate the terms under which NYU was given the formerly-public land upon which they are now located, which was intended to prohibit this type of development from ever taking place.