Testimony of Senator Squadron Regarding the Proposed expansion of the SOHO Case Iron District

Daniel L. Squadron

October 27, 2009

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify today. My name is Daniel Squadron and I represent the 25th Senate District in the New York State Senate. My district includes Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Vinegar Hill, Fulton Ferry, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Gowanus in Brooklyn, and the neighborhoods of Tribeca, Battery Park City, the Lower East Side, Chinatown, the Financial District, Little Italy, SoHo and the East Village in Manhattan.
As a representative of this district, I enthusiastically support the expansion of the SoHo Cast Iron District. I believe that it is important to maintain and preserve the distinct character of this neighborhood, while encouraging new commercial growth and contextual development. By undertaking the expansion of this historic district, the Landmarks Preservation Commission is responding to years of work and advocacy on the part of the community board and community members. I would like to recognize that responsiveness as well as the dedicated work of Community Board Chair Jo Hamilton, Landmarks & Public Aesthetics Committee Chair Sean Sweeney, and the Metropolitan Chapter of the Victorian Society in America.
The expansion will include the eastern side of Crosby Street, portions of Lafayette, Howard, Centre and Thompson Streets, and the western side of West Broadway.  The new district would include several unprotected, masonry and cast iron buildings and streets that are consistent with the aesthetic character of the current district, and are just as worthy of preservation as the buildings inside the current district.
The proposal also reflects the interests of the neighborhood, serving the long-stated goals of the community to protect the unique, historic character of the neighborhood.  I appreciate the willingness of the Landmarks Preservation Commission to consider and to incorporate the community’s input into its proposal. The proposal to expand the SoHo Cast Iron District is the result of conversations between the community board, community groups, and the Landmarks Preservation and Commission since 2006—that community input is reflected in the quality of the proposal.
I would like to thank the Landmarks Preservation Commission for being responsive to community residents and organizations in the development of its plan. I look forward to working with the Community Board, with the City, and with local residents to implement this proposal and further preserve this dynamic neighborhood. Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to testify.