Senator Thomas K. Duane (D-WFP Manhattan) today applauded the General Theological Seminary’s decision to replace its antiquated Sherrill Hall on Ninth Avenue between West 20th and 21st Street with an appropriately-scaled building which conforms to the height and bulk restrictions set forth in the enacted Chelsea 197-a Plan. Simultaneously, the Seminary is abandoning its previous preservation plan, which included a fifteen-story tower on that site. That plan, which the Seminary submitted to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in late December 2006, was overwhelmingly rejected by Manhattan Community Board Four in February of this year.
Senator Duane, a champion of the Chelsea Plan, had long been a vocal opponent of the Seminary’s proposed development, and submitted passionate, detailed testimony to Community Board Four prior to its vote to oppose it.
“I am gratified that the Seminary has chosen to listen to the concerns raised by me, other elected officials, and the community. I continue to be hopeful that the Seminary will be able to remain in Chelsea and perform the needed work to restore and preserve its many landmarked buildings while still conforming to the Chelsea Plan. As we have over the past year and a half, all of us in the community will continue to brainstorm with the Seminary to identify public and private financing for the preservation of this important Chelsea institution.”
Senator Duane pledged to work with the Seminary in the future to continue its path toward financial solvency. “All the acrimony over this development is behind us, and I expect that the Chelsea community will do all it can to help the Seminary survive and thrive in our historic neighborhood for many years to come.”