Rendering of Link 5G tower and map showing the originally proposed locations on the Upper East Side.
As reported today by Patch, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has ruled against all but one of the 32-ft tall 5G towers originally proposed for locations on the Upper East Side. FRIENDS is a "consulting party" in the Section 106 historic preservation review process and we have submitted comments on each of the proposed sites on the Upper East Side, evaluating the impact that the oversized towers would have had on the special character of our historic districts and landmarks. This victory comes after a concerted, months-long effort by a coalition of neighborhood preservation groups, with FRIENDS and Carnegie Hill Neighbors leading the way on the Upper East Side. As you can see on the CityBridge map showing proposed sites for the 5G towers, most of the locations are labelled as "in remediation" -- i.e. the review process found that siting towers here would have an adverse impact on nearby historic resources.
Although we support the City's stated goals to expand wireless and cellular services, especially to underserved communities, we do not find that the proposed Link5G towers would serve that objective. FRIENDS has long noted that the process, as it stands, appears to privilege the private franchise holder over the needs of the neighborhoods and local communities. We have also advocated for the placement of 5G transmitters on existing infrastructure to minimize the impact on our already crowded sidewalks, and for alternative designs for the towers that are contextual and appropriate on city streets and in historic districts.
Click here for a complete overview of this issue.