Calling for New Open Space to Offset Impact of Culture Shed

Brad Hoylman

April 10, 2013

On April 10, I submitted testimony to the New York City Planning Commission (CPC) regarding the City Department of Cultural Affairs’ (DCA) proposed Culture Shed, an expandable structure intended to house a variety of public and private cultural uses at West 30th Street and 11th Avenue in the emerging Hudson Yards development. The innovative facility will feature retractable canopies which, when fully deployed, will completely enclose an adjacent 20,000 square foot plaza that was promised to the local community as open-to-the-sky, publicly accessible space after lengthy negotiations on the 2005 Hudson Yards rezoning. DCA’s dynamic project promises to bolster the city’s cultural landscape as a vibrant backdrop for events and exhibitions. However, I echoed Manhattan Community Board 4’s (CB4) call for CPC to deny the application unless the city provides 20,000 square feet of unencumbered, publicly accessible open space elsewhere in the community district. I also called on CPC to give CB4 a voice in determining how the Culture Shed and adjoining plaza are utilized and to honor other thoughtful recommendations put forth by the board. Please see my testimony below.