Senator Thomas Duane Letter To Elon Kenchington, Chief Executive Office To Gansevoort Hotel Group

Thomas K. Duane

February 15, 2007


Dear Mr. Kenchington:


While I recognize that the Hotel Gansevoort sought and was initially given permits for these signs and their support pole from the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB), I and many of my constituents disagree with your decision regarding the signs and strongly believe that they are not appropriate for our distinctive, historic, hard fought for district. The larger sign is permitted for a height of 75 feet with a total surface area of 1,200 square feet. The smaller sign is permitted for a height of 52 feet with a total surface area of 672 square feet, and will be indirectly illuminated. Both will loom over the Meatpacking District and the residential, Greenwich Village neighborhood directly to the south. Both are terrible.

I understand that DOB is reconsidering the permits it has issued and has sought additional information from your architect to determine if your signs will, in fact, conform to regulations for signage at this location. Recently, DOB has found several other billboards that have sprung up in the Meatpacking District to be illegal, and it has committed to take action against them. Regardless of DOB’s findings with respect to the legality of your signs, I appeal to you and am hopeful that in the interests of neighborhood preservation, you will choose to abandon this ill conceived billboard project. While I recognize that you have contractual obligations to the billboard company, Van Wagner I pledge to join other community leaders in seeking to have Van Wagner release you from them.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to your response and to your continued cooperation in preserving the beautiful, historic area that has made your establishment a destination for New Yorkers and other people from around the U.S. and the world. Please don’t go ahead with your plans to destroy that.