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A year-end message from the Executive Director of FRIENDS

From the New York City Council to the U.S. Supreme Court — it's been a year of stunning successes for FRIENDS!

Working with preservation allies, we permanently stopped the wrecking ball from striking the First Avenue Estate, a full-block complex of historic tenements between East 64th and 65th Streets.

The U.S. Supreme Court — for the second time — upheld the City's decision to prevent the property owner from demolishing two of the buildings. This exceptionally important and far-reaching victory for FRIENDS not only saved the Estate, but also generally reaffirmed the City's power to protect landmarks.

Victories like this would not be possible without you! As Executive Director of FRIENDS, I thank you for your generous support. Please consider making an end-of-year gift so that we can continue to protect our neighborhood's historic properties.

FRIENDS scored another big win this year — and struck a blow against "supertalls" — when the City Council limited the ability of developers to use empty "mechanical voids" spaces to improperly boost the height of buildings. Our longstanding advocacy against this practice persuaded the Council to enact these essential zoning amendments.

We've achieved so much together — but the challenges continue! In the year ahead, FRIENDS will:

  • Advocate for even greater restrictions on mechanical voids with the goal of completely eradicating this abusive developer tactic — and stopping the rise of supertalls.
  • Continue to push the City to outlaw construction of tall buildings on "micro-lots" — yet another insidious tactic employed by developers to evade building height restrictions; and
  • Fight Northwell Health's disastrous plan to expand Lenox Hill Hospital and build two massive new buildings on either end of the block that are wildly out of scale with the neighborhood and far beyond what zoning allows.
  • As we look forward to 2020, I am asking you to consider a gift of $100, $1000, or more. It's all about preserving our one-of-a-kind neighborhood. Let's fight for it together!

    With sincere thanks and best wishes for he holiday season,
    Rachel Levy