No surprise here, but owner Gregg Singer is lashing out after last week’s brief “liberation” of of the former Charas/El Bohio community center on East 9th Street.
Following a boisterous funeral march though the East Village, activists mourning the death of Indymedia journalist Brad Will broke into the boarded-up school building on November 11 and tagged up the walls.
(The scene at Charas, November 11, 2006)
Mind you, Singer has already spent tens of thousands of his own dollars jackhammering off the limestone trim from the century-old school’s ornate dormer windows in a rather brazen effort to undo the building’s landmark status.
Now Singer is accusing these neighborhood “vandals” and “extremists” of causing “thousands of dollars of damage” and is calling on Mayor Bloomberg to intervene and “mediate the impasse” over the building, which has stood empty for five years.
In a press release sent to the Voice last week, Singer claimed the protesters had scrawled graffiti on several floors of the deteriorating building and had “destroyed windows.”
“This is getting out of hand and a very dangerous situation has developed that needs to be addressed by city officials who, up to this point, have stood in the way of the development of the property to benefit the community,” Singer complained.
As promised, on October 18, Singer filed suit to overturn the landmark designation, citing his recent demo work to the facade—which was approved before the school was landmarked—as one reason he believes the school does not hold any real “architectural significance.”
We’re sure Singer’s lawyers will be in court with pictures of those butchered windows, now covered with tarps.
The Mayor’s office did not respond to Singer’s call for intervention—also not surprising since Singer is still suing Bloomberg and various city agencies for $100 million for supposedly killing off his scheme for a 19-story dorm at the site.
But wasn’t there a theory about broken windows attracting crime. . . ?