Cobblestone wars

Weird that the NY Post today has a piece about the June 20 CB1 Landmarks Committee rejection of the attempt by 44 Laight Street condo owners to replace part of the cobblestone street, which I blogged about on July 5.
Why is 44 Laight Street news now?
What’s weird is that there is nothing obviously ‘newsworthy’ today about that month-old event. But the new article is making the rounds of the blogosphere, giving the issue new life. My guess is that the condo owners have hired some PR firm in anticipation of their appeal to the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
I would characterize the tone of today’s article as somewhat sympathetic, notwithstanding the slap at the building’s units going for “$5 million a pop”, but not specific enough to be really helpful.
These rich strolling-pushing Manolo-wearing moms (snarky bloggers are not sympathetic) are only asking that a portion of the cobblestone “street” be replaced, and make the point that the “street” has no sidewalk. That doesn’t sound quite as unreasonable as moving to the historic district because of its charm (old manufacturing heritage, which includes cobblestones and no sidewalks) then calling for the removal of the charm.
Should they be repatriated to the Upper West Side?
Community Board 1 has – so far – been less than sympathetic. The CB1 Landmarks Committee chair is quoted as though they should get back on the boat:
"If you don’t like cobblestones in TriBeCa, live on the Upper West Side," he sniffed.
Fact is, the condo may be responsible if someone is injured walking in front of the building (ever try to shovel snow or ice off of cobblestones??). Fact is, sidewalks weren’t need on the block when (a) there were no pedestrians and (B) 18 wheelers pulled up right to the building edges. Would a real sidewalk impair that ‘authentic’ Tribeca grit on Laight Street? Maybe not….
Sounds as though Landmarks Preservation should let them pay for a real sidewalk without disturbing the street-full of cobblestones.
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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