Responding to the Rising Tide of Dangerous and Unpermitted Work in Our Neighborhoods
Mayor Adams’ mantra has been to “Get Stuff Built.” Unfortunately, in too many cases, that’s also meant that the city has been unable to “Keep Stuff Standing” in the rush to make development happen. And we’ve seen that trend ever-more frequently in our neighborhood.
Just last week, neighbors alerted us to apparently unpermitted work taking place behind the facades of 105-107 Bank Street, where a developer had essentially demolished the entire landmarked 1846 structures except the exterior party walls and the front facades. This work appears to be in blatant violation of landmarks and Department of Buildings permits, and we swiftly called upon City agencies to take action. In the recent past we’ve seen devastating damage from neighboring oversized City-approved development forcing the evacuation of 642 East 14th Street, a similar effect at the landmarked 1846 10 Fifth Avenue, and unpermitted work leading to the compromise and demolition of the landmarked 1827 house at 14 Gay Street. We have demanded reform to the City’s oversight system to prevent this type of damage and destruction from taking place. So far, the City has only offered a vaguely worded “Vulnerable Buildings Plan” that has thus far clearly failed to stem the tide of destruction.
We continue to work with fellow preservation organizations and elected officials to make the city improve the way it monitors construction and protects neighbors. But especially given the lack of a coherent plan from the City to do so, all of us can and must play a role in protecting our buildings and in preventing illegal or damaging work from taking place.
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- If you see or know of dangerous work that imperils safety, call 911 immediately.
- If you see or know of work that is unpermitted or you have reason to believe may be causing damage to or potentially endangering or undermining a building, report it to 311 and demand an inspection (imminent/immediate danger calls should go to 911).
- Report the situation to Village Preservation at email@example.com if it’s in Greenwich Village, the East Village, or NoHo, and we can help guide you and/or advocate for a response from the city.
It’s critical to have details like address or exact location, and wherever possible photo or video documentation of conditions can be extremely helpful. More information can be found here.