The other side of the NYU story, the one in which the school's ambitious 20-year expansion plan makes perfect sense, is not one we hear often. Not because we don't care about what the Purple People Eaters have to say, but because the protesters are just so damn loud! But in this week's Villager, NYU's chief spokesperson John Beckman uses the power of the written word to sway some hearts and minds over to Team NYU. Specifically, he addresses concerns about the new buildings proposed in the "core" Greenwich Village campus, and takes aim at the arguments of chief NYU critic (and Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation leader) Andrew Berman. He begins his argument pretty convincingly:
The piece of New York University’s proposal against which Andrew Berman has been lobbying most furiously boils down to this: four buildings constructed over the next two decades on property that N.Y.U. already owns, and on which there are already five large towers. That’s it.
Andrew Berman thinks this effort will change the character of these blocks. We do, too — for the better. Let’s be real: The truly sweeping transformation of the superblocks is not what will happen over the next 20 years; it’s what happened 50-plus years ago when urban renewal razed nine blocks of buildings, disrupted the grid and created the superblocks and towers we know today.
So basically, since the area was already ruined 50 years ago, who cares! Beckman also plays the don't-know-what-you've-got-till-it's-gone card, channeling the St. Vincent's debacle: "Just a few short months ago, that hospital was being pilloried for its development proposals; who in the neighborhood doesn’t miss St. Vincent’s now?" Read on for more talking points from NYU, and tell us, did Beckman successfully take Berman out to the woodshed for an old-fashioned whoopin'?
· Talking Point [The Villager]
· NYU Expansion coverage [Curbed]