We were pretty excited a few years ago when the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated our part of NoHo a historic district. “Oh, goody!” we thought. “NYU can’t plant any more purple flags in our area. We’ll be able to, you know, preserve the unique character of the neighborhood. Our property values will go up. We’ll be rich!”
Not. Somehow it didn’t work out. NYU continues to buy up buildings and snatch zoning variances. Giant hotels and tony restaurants have squeezed out the flophouses and soup kitchens. And as for getting rich, we’re just getting poorer. Old-time residents now have to pay more—way more—and eat a whole lot of red tape just to maintain our shitty little homes. Our cost to replace two of the three windows overlooking the street doubled when we had to make an application—with architectural drawings—to the LPC for permission and discovered that the application would require us to replace the third window too, even though it is practically new and works just fine.