Artists’s Lofty Ambitions Continue


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February 13, 1964, Vol. IX, No. 17

State May Allow Artists to Make Wide Use of Lofts

By Susan Goodman

Space-hungry and rent-poor artists, who have long made their homes illegally in the city’s lofts, may soon be able to come out of hiding. A measure which will permit them to show their faces openly was introduced in Albany this week by Greenwich Village’s Republican State Senator, MacNeill Mitchell. The experimental bill, which has full backing from the City, would allow painters and sculptors to reside on all floors of loft buildings that meet certain fire and health standards.

Opposition by the City and social welfare groups defeated a measure sponsored by Mitchell last year that was more favorable to loft dwellers than the present bill. “This year’s bill at least gives artists a fighting chance for their lives,” said a spokesman for the City Administrator’s Office, which hammered out a compromise with Senator Mitchell last week.

The City spokesman noted that some civic groups are bound to oppose any lowering of multiple-dwelling standards. ‘In certain ways they’re right. We’re making an exception for artists because they are being driven out of New York, but we’re afraid other groups will ask for special treatment, too.” He estimated that “at the most” a thousand people will be affected by the Mitchell bill…

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