Wednesday night, in the basement of a Bleecker Street church, NYU's opponents gathered to celebrate their stunning victory over their oppressors and talk strategy for future NYU expansion battles. The lighting was dim, the air, cold, but the bunker quickly filled up with troops gathered at the behest of General Andrew Berman, commander in chief of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. The briefing began with a Berman recap of the recent defeat of NYU's proposed 400-foot tower:
"We can all take a great deal of pride in [the defeat of the tower] because however the university wants to spin it, I think that the fact there was such overwhelming opposition really played an important factor in this. But what's important to recognize is that while this is an important milestone, it's really just one very small piece in a much broader plan. While this particular proposal has gone away, it's like the many-headed hydra, there's a new one that's come up to replace it, which some would say is just as bad or worse, so our work is still very very very much cut out for us." Cue the informative PowerPoint!
Basically the next battle is shutting down NYU's shorter and fatter "Plan B" tower proposal for the site of the Morton Williams supermarket at Bleecker Street and LaGuardia Place, which originally NYU used as a threat when the Silver Tower plan was still in question.
While we didn't spot any obvious NYU spies, there were some admitted NYU journalism students. One of which was conducting short interviews with a camera of a few opinionated troops in the room. The question and open discussion session at the end of Berman's presentation proved that these troops are still fired up and ready for more.
Possible plan of attack #1
A footsoldier in the back, Sylvia, brought up the idea of taking legal action against the university and tying them up in court. Berman explained that the GVSHP doesn't take part in litigation and warned that NYU is a huge entity with more money than this ragtag band of brothers.
Assessment: David had better odds against Goliath
Possible plan of attack #2
Another troop asked who within NYU is driving the massive expansion plan. NYU President John Sexton? NYU's board of directors (many of whom are New York real estate folks)? Could they be persuaded? Berman said he doesn't think anyone is going to be able to get inside NYU to change their thinking. The focus should be on trying to impact the public approval process where everyone has a right to their say
Assessment: Infiltration behind enemy lines is not an option.
But there is hope! The grunts had fire and determination, and to be honest, much of the NYU opposition appears to be elderly, which means a lot of free time and hard-earned wisdom to focus on the cause.
· NYU Expansion coverage [Curbed]