Shouting it from the rooftops

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After yesterday’s speech-tacular, a little silent activism on something just up the street was almost refreshing. Spotted on Kent at about 12:30 PM.


(It says “Columbia Renewal is West Harlem Removal.” Which is almost a pun.)

(Hamilton was also festooned with one that read “Expand With Respect.”)  

Viva la bedsheet revolucion!



  1. Meh  

    Who cares at this point? Columbia's Manhattanville development is bound to happen, and resistance is futile. Besides, the University will be doing the neighborhood a big favor with its new campus; the whole area will look a hundred times nicer than it does now.

    • Victoria Ruiz  

      I dont understand how after two public hearings, in which the only people in favor of the columbia expansion plan were representatives from Columbia or people paid by columbia and there is the community 197 A plan that has been voted on by the community and continually pushed for by the actual residences, not college students in their secure dorms under 125th, people---my fellow students---can still say that CU expansion is good and should happen. it is yet another example of elite dominance and pretentious movement. it makes me sad disappointed to be in the same campus as you.

  2. 197

    i don't know who in the neighborhood itself will benefit, given that the university predicts 5,000 people will be displaced

  3. accuracy  

    Columbia has purchased housing - without the consent of the people it is wanting to move, mind you - for those DIRECTLY displaced by the expansion, some 291 people. Through rising rent pressures and the arrival of CU affiliates, 5,000 people are to be displaced (more the entire population of Columbia College), so far with no mitigation proposed.

    That is wack.

  4. wirc  

    Any development in the area would cause major displacement. The FEIS predicts 3500 people or so BY 2030 for a 5-block radius, for its plans and 2500 for the 197a, accounting for affordable-housing. The 5000 people number is for a larger radius, 10 blocks I think, and using that number is highly unreliable, as real estate is complicated, especially by the rapid gentrification of most of the blocks inside those extra 10 blocks.

    The effect of Columbia's gentrification will be nothing compared to what is already happening elsewhere in Harlem.

    Why Columbia won't ink a deal to educate, subsidize, or assist these people is another matter.

  5. WAIT!  

    The Manhattanville people have an answer! Columbia can expand, only buildings taller than three stories won't be allowed. And as for jobs, the M'ville residents have decided that light manufacturing can thrive in the hood. Why it hasn't already happened yet, of course, doesn't matter; if the people wish really really hard enough that the neighborhood will be miraculously transformed into an industrial center, it probably will. Waiting through another 50 years of economic stagnation is unimportant as long as the big bad rich Columbia neighbor doesn't take over.

  6. umm

    better gentrification by columbia, which purchases homes for those "directly transplanted," than typical manhattan gentrification, which will result in everyone getting booted out. and it's coming - the island is only so big, and demand is higher than ever. so isn't it better to have the most humane form of gentrification possible, coupled with the expansion of the university and all its attendant future medical breakthroughs, arts performances, jobs, and fringe benefits (neighborhood school, etc.)?

    note: the 197a "community" plan is the worst of all, since the buildings that remain within the columbia campus would undoubtedly evict every single one of their low income residents in favor of liquid-flush columbia affiliates.

    • wirc  

      Better would be for Columbia to actually do something for the people and get those who take the offer out of the ghetto. It doesn't matter what it is, but Columbia should invest in people through education. Investing in cheap housing will be a band-aid that changes no individual's situation, and has failed again and again in urban renewal projects, even the most benevolent ones.

      The 197-a plan does allow for tall buildings, only right on Broadway, where all those already tall storage centers are.

      • well

        isn't that what the new high school columbia is building is for? and how about the fact that all kinds of public educational events will be taking place in the neighborhood?

        I don't see how most of the "poor, beleaguered" people so many anti-expansionists agitate in the name of don't come out on top with this.

  7. victoria Ruiz  

    sad and disappointed*



  9. One Point Only

    When it all comes down to it, there is only one point that really matters here, which is that this area is going to change in the next few years regardless of whether the change is wrought by Columbia (see: Citarella on 125th and Amsterdam, the newly Spec-dubbed "restaurant row" on 12th Ave. right behind Fairway).

    Honestly, the people who live in this neighborhood have to sit down for a second and realize that they are not immune to what is happening all over this God-forsaken city right now. Manhattanville and Hamilton Heights directly above it are the last bastions of the gentrification that is making it impossible for anyone who is not a millionaire to live here, but they can't hold out forever.

    What Manhattanville residents have to realize is something they'll never admit openly due to their long, drawn out battle with our school: Far, FAR better Columbia than thirty-story tall, million dollar condos (like the ones going up in Central Harlem and right below our campus at 99th and Broadway) filled with Euro-trash, bankers and hedge-funders, and spoiled rich kids whose parents bought them their lives.

    Case closed.

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