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Fashion Week Faux Pas

Part of GVSHP’s work with the community is our Preservation Watch program —a way to help ensure that landmarks, buildings, and zoning violations are reported and the law enforced, and to preserve our neighborhood’s historic integrity.

GVSHP wants to ensure that such violations are reported and acted upon as swiftly and thoroughly as possible. That is why we want you to know how you can report a landmarks, buildings, or zoning violation to the City, and how you can report it to GVSHP to help advocate for its resolution.

Illegal billboards have been a main cause of concern for GVSHP for many years.  Two weeks ago, a neighbor in Gansevoort Market brought to our attention a new, seemingly illegal billboard affixed to the Hotel Gansevoort.

Fashion Week Faux Pas – the temporary billboard put up by the Hotel Gansevoort

The billboard disappeared almost as quickly as it appeared; apparently the eight-story high advertisement was erected only temporarily for  Fashion Week.  Of course an illegal billboard is an illegal billboard, and it doesn’t matter if it is “temporary” or not; however, because the offending sign came and went in just a few days, the slow-moving city bureaucracy did not investigate in time to determine its legality.  As you may remember, the Hotel Gansevoort is no stranger to allegedly illegal billboards.

A GVSHP sponsored protest outside of the Hotel Gansevoort in 2006

In 2006, two years after the hotel’s completion, the establishment erected two giant billboards on the their property, the larger of which was 1200 sq. ft. and reached nearly eight stories in height.  For nearly two years, neighborhood residents and Meatpacking District business owners (including Keith McNally, owner of Pastis Restaurant) fought the city on the allowance of the obtrusive advertising signs in this neighborhood.

A GVSHP sponsored protest outside of the Hotel Gansevoort in 2007. Both the hotel and the giant billboard framework are seen in the background.

Sadly, the billboards are still present today, although GVSHP and fellow protestors were able to get them moved slightly.  We believe that the law was clear in that at least one of them was fully illegal, but the city refused to enforce a plain reading of its own zoning laws.

The billboards as they stand today

If you see a billboard that seems to be illegal, report it to GVSHP!

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