Tonight NYU, the Dread Pirate Roberts of Greenwich Village, will unveil its 25-year growth plans at an open house at the Kimmel Center, reports Crain’s New York. The gist?
The school will be going underground, digging deeper at Washington Square Village, the residential complex at the southern end of La Guardia Place between Wooster and Greene, to create academic space below what’s currently a parking lot. Which is kind of cool (imagine whole buildings and communities underground some hundred years from now) and kind of creeptacular — half mad scientist’s lair/half classroom for moles, or a daytime hangout for vampires.
The below-ground space will be accessible through two new academic buildings — they will rise on the eastern and western ends of the block — and will be topped by a garden.
NYU’s plans call for the addition of 6 million square feet of space over 25 years, half in the Village, the rest spread over the East Side, downtown Brooklyn, and Governor’s Island.
As you would expect, there’s local opposition. (Manhattan, after all, is about 13.5 miles long and 2.5 miles wide, with but 301 square miles of precious street-level space. And those Greenwich Village residents are feisty!)
“NYU is an important ingredient in this neighborhood, but 3 million square feet is just too much for the neighborhood to bear,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. “It’s better to have our neighborhood, not to have NYU grow and overwhelm our community. It’s in the city’s best interest to be looking at spreading the wealth.”
Which you know all too well if you’ve ever shared a bar with an NYU student.
But, hey, what about St. Vincent’s? We’ve heard they’ve got availability.