A sampling of the content includes: “We feel that…working relationship with private developers and their consultants may explain how the Commission has come to make otherwise inexplicable, anti-preservation decisions.”
Their concern is that in the absence of a Vice Chair, Fred Bland, as the most senior/longest serving Commissioner will assume the position of Chair–at least on an interim basis.
The letter cites from the case of 404 West 20th Street, better recognized in preservation circles as the oldest house in Chelsea where “Mr. Bland led the discussion in the direction of accepting the most damaging aspect of the applicant’s proposal — the filling in of the houses’s side alley and demolition of its adjacent, original, wood side-wall. He recommended that these character-defining features be replaced with a facade recess clad in cement-board siding of a dark color which would visually recede and recall the lost alley and wood siding, a ludicrous suggestion which was nonetheless adopted and approved”.