Volume 19 Issue 44 | March 16 - 22, 2007

Letters to the editor

Rudy and the law

To The Editor:
Your editorial on Rudy Giuliani’s Downtown record and presidential ambitions (March 9 – 15, “A guide to Rudy’s Downtown record”) left out what may be the most telling episode of all: His preposterous 2001 campaign for an “emergency extension” that would allow him to remain in office past the end of his elective term. This from a former U.S. attorney and associate attorney general. I don’t see how anyone who believes in the idea of government by law could ever pull the lever for a guy like Rudy.

Rob Buchanan

Preserve history

To The Editor:
Is there any city in this nation, other than our own, that would even consider  tearing down a 1798 rowhouse, let alone one that was the home of Augustine H. Lawrence, one of this city’s founding fathers?  And for what, another hotel (news article, Feb. 23 – March 1, “Preservationists fight to save 3 rowhouses on Greenwich”)?  The developer behind the scheme to bulldoze 96 Greenwich St., the McSam Hotel Group, has already blighted the five boroughs with some 25 ticky-tack hotel-motels.  If our community must bear number 26, then it should not be at the cost of our nation’s history.  There are other Downtown sites on which McSam can build. 

In September 2003, Community Board 1 voted 33-0 that 96 Greenwich St. and the two adjacent rowhouses: “are wonderful examples of early residential development in New York, and are currently unprotected. The [C.B. 1 Landmarks] Committee feels that the research done on these buildings was adequate to request immediate individual landmark designation hearings by [the Landmarks Preservation Commission] with the building owner’s support.”  Today, the building’s new owner is trying to convince the board’s Landmarks Committee to change its mind, and green light the destruction of this historic building.  Let us hope that the committee maintains the courage of its convictions, and that this last vestige of colonial-era New York City is not lost forever.
John Dellaportas

Confucius was a goo-goo

To The Editor:
Pleased to learn that the north section of City Hall Park will reopen (hopefully) in the spring or summer of 2007 (news article, Feb. 15 – 22, “City Hall Park’s north section will reopen”). That part of the park was not closed because of Sept. 11 security concerns. It was shut down in 1999, without any explanation to the public. When I asked a policeman why the gates to the north section were locked, he informed me that “it had something to do with the Middle East.” The link is still puzzling.

The S-word — security — has become a euphemism for the P-word — parking perks. The N.Y.P.D., which still occupies Park Row, has barriers on Madison St., and contributes to the mayhem of traffic on Worth and Mott.

In the words of Confucius: “The beginning of good government is calling things by their right name.” Are we able to do this anymore? That may be the question for the next “Jeopardy” show.

Shelly Estrin

Letters policy
Downtown Express welcomes letters to The Editor. They must include the writer’s first and last name, a phone number for confirmation purposes only and any affiliation that relates directly to the letter’s subject matter. Letters should be less than 300 words. Downtown Express reserves the right to edit letters for space, clarity, civility or libel reasons. Letters should be e-mailed to or can be mailed to 145 Sixth Ave., N.Y., N.Y. 10013.

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