Brother Bloomberg: Can You Spare a Dime?
Election Day 2005 -- and Greenwich Villagers are paying attention.
Hon. Michael Bloomberg
Mayor, City of New York
New York, New York 10007
Re: Jefferson Market Library –
Improper Use of Public Funds
Dear Mayor Bloomberg:
On behalf of several Greenwich Village Block Associations I am writing because we are concerned about the possible misuse of millions of dollars worth of taxpayers' money.
* * $2.8-million approved: At the October 18, 2005 meeting of Community Board 2 Institutions Committee, New York Public Library presenters stated that some $2.8-million had been approved by the City Council for an unpopular and unsolicited plan to renovate the library interior. Although NYPL neglected to inform the community, other than CB 2, of their intentions, fortunately, we were able to raise enough awareness so that a standing-room-only group of concerned, angry taxpayers attended. A vote by a show of hands was requested; 95% voted against the proposals.
* * $300,000 only is necessary: The NYPL presenters estimated that $300,000 of the $2.8-million covered what they deemed NECESSARY renovations.
* * Question: why would the City Council approve funding well beyond what the NYPL stated were necessary renovations ($2.8-million minus $300,000)? Recently, many of us were asked to write public officials begging for monies to alleviate cuts in library hours and staffing.
* * beloved landmark: Everyone knows that the Jefferson Market Library is an architectural treasure. It is a key destination for Greenwich Village’s tourists, thus an important contributor to one of New York’s major economic bases. Most significantly, Jefferson Market is both an icon and a landmark. We were told that although the Parks Department installed scaffolding several years ago to protect against falling (architectural) debris, NYPL “regretted there was no money for exterior maintenance.”
* * an injustice: Many residents in our Election Districts [10003, 10011, 10012, 10014] agree that it is a grave injustice when the facade of a highly visible 19th century landmark is deteriorating -- why -- because The New York Public Library has shamefully decided to NEGLECT the exterior for 30 years.
* * Mr. Mayor, please: We request the support of your office in securing funding, preferably permanent funding, to preserve and protect our beloved building.
E. Mary Shannon [New York, NY 10014]
* * * Cc: Councilwoman Christine Quinn
T.:212-788-6979; fax:212-227-1236; T.:212-564-7757
* * * Cc: Councilman Alan J. Gerson
* * * Cc: Senator Thomas K. Duane
* * * Cc: Congressman Jerrold Nadler
Artist Glenn O. Coleman painted the Jefferson Market Jail and the glass-enclosed Hudson & Manhattan Tube Entrance on West 10th Street and Greenwich Avenue. His painting was published on the back cover of The Masses, December 1914 issue.