| Image via morningside-heights.net
The poor, defenseless buildings of Morningside are under siege from the ravenous monster that is Columbia University.
Or so local residents would have us believe. More than a decade ago, locals petitioned the Landmarks Preservation Commission to protect Morningside Heights (which includes a large number of older buildings with their original architectural styles) as a historical district; a “sustained, exuberant, cogent expression of the American Renaissance,” they wrote, obviously for some kind of coursework.
The New York Times has an update as to the status of that battle, fluffed with some fascinating local history. Somewhere in city offices, the 200-plus-page document is sitting in a dusty corner next to your thesis, a “Pending” stamp across the cover. The article begs for your pity with pictures of dilapidated, soon-to-be-demolished buildings labeled “threatened brownstones.”
Columbia of course did not respond to the heartstring tugs: though PrezBo declined to comment, spokesman Robert Hornsby said that a designation is “unnecessary” because Columbia has been a “steward” of preservation. Far more importantly, though, in Bwog’s view, it might set back dorm renovations, and that just can’t happen.