Let’s Keep Central Park From Becoming “Central Dark!”

Yesterday at a press conference in front of City Hall, Landmark West! spoke in favor of an immediate, temporary moratorium on the construction of mega-towers that would cast long shadows on Central Park. The conference was convened by Community Board Five’s Central Park Sunshine Task Force, who recently released a report on the deleterious effects of mega-towers on the park (a Scenic Landmark), other historic resources, and quality of life. Also speaking in favor of the moratorium were State Senator Brad Hoylman, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Councilmembers Corey Johnson and Mark Levine, and representatives from Community Board 6 and the Municipal Art Society.

Landmark West! President Kate Wood speaks out against mega-towers and the shadows they
will cast on Central Park.

The call for a moratorium on supertowers echoes testimony given at two well-attended “town hall” meetings organized by the Sunshine Task Force in the past 18 months, as well as Bill Moyers’s PBS program “The Long, Dark Shadows of Plutocracy,” a stirring call to action against the “line of gated castles…forming along the southern rim of Central Park, staking a privileged claim to the space, sky, and sun long shared by all.”

At Tuesday’s press conference, Landmark West! President Kate Wood said:
“There’s a cloud hanging over Central Park, and it’s rolling north.  As private developers race for the sky, they are erasing public assets that make our city great. If the pace continues – unchecked – Central Park will become ‘Central Dark.’
“Rethinking 50 years of zoning won’t happen overnight. We need a moratorium, we need planning. Midtown development should not be a free for all. 
“Back in the 1980s, New Yorkers organized to defend Central Park against a line-up of luxury towers that would have marched up the West Side. We fought for – and won – protective contextual zoning. We fought for – and won – extensive landmark and historic district protection. Because of these ‘thoughtfully designed and democratically adopted policies’ intended to manage growth, the Upper West Side today is one of the most livable, beautiful and, yes, dense neighborhoods in New York. 
“Today, we face a new breed of mega-development. It’s time to mobilize again. Extell and Megalith developers have cleared a site on the park block of West 66th Street for a tower that could be 800 or more feet tall, casting a shadow on Central Park that could extend beyond 72nd Street.
“Where will the next tower be? When will this epidemic end? These are questions we cannot afford to leave to chance.”
Potential development on West 66th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue

To read more about the West 66th Street site development, click here.


To read the CB5 press release, click here.

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