Exploring Union Square’s landmarked buildings

Daryl Roth Theatre Building (Photos courtesy of the Union Square Community Coalition)

Daryl Roth Theatre Building (Photos courtesy of the Union Square Community Coalition)

By Wally Dobelis

In this year of many anniversaries of political, civil rights and social significance, we should also celebrate those of direct impact on helping New York maintain its historic past, letting us preserve our architectural and social accomplishments. The Landmarks Law of 1965 was prompted by widespread popular anger over the loss of Pennsylvania Station, and the Union Square Community Coalition was formed in 1980 to recover the badly neglected park and its neighboring 14th Street areas from a large population of derelicts and drug addicts.

USCC was successful in helping clean up the park and gaining landmark designations for the Ladies’ Mile and East 17th Street/Irving Place Historic Districts, as well as in obtaining individual landmark designations for 14 local buildings, and is looking forward to securing the designation for five more worthy buildings.

All of the above are described in a gracious eight-page pamphlet, with a double-page cover photograph of a 1933 Labor rally of the type that made the Union Square North Plaza famous for free speech and assembly. This review attempts to identify the 19 buildings with short descriptions, in a manner of an excursion or walk around the park area, all within three blocks of the Square.

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OP-ED: Change the status quo on changing stations

State Senator Brad Hoylman, pictured with daughter Silvia at the Peter Stuyvesant Little League Parade (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

State Senator Brad Hoylman, pictured with daughter Silvia at the Peter Stuyvesant Little League Parade (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By State Senator Brad Hoylman

Imagine, for a moment, that you’re a new father, out to lunch with your significant other and your baby. You’ve just ordered your meal when you notice it’s time for a diaper change. You head to the men’s room, only to find it has no changing tables. Your only option is to change your child on the floor or the sink of a dirty bathroom.

As someone with a husband and a young daughter, I know this scenario all too well.

Across New York and much of the country, baby-changing stations in men’s restrooms are extremely uncommon. The lack of them is sorely out of step with the modern world and something that lawmakers can address.

Earlier this year, the TV star Ashton Kutcher took to Facebook to air his frustrations about the lack of changing stations. His post went viral, racking up more than 17 million likes and shares.

While on its surface, the issue of so-called “potty parity” for men may seem trivial, the enormous public response to Kutcher’s complaints demonstrates the resonance the issue has among men and women alike and points to larger gender imbalances in our society.

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Package pileups continue in ST/PCV

A package pileup at 441 East 20th Street in late September gets photographed by Susan Steinberg, president of the ST-PCV Tenants Association.

A package pileup at 441 East 20th Street in late September gets photographed by Susan Steinberg, president of the ST-PCV Tenants Association.

By Sabina Mollot

For over a year, residents in some buildings in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper have had to deal with their lobbies being subjected to package pileups.

Rather than deliver packages directly to tenants’ apartments, the boxes have been left to pile up into small towers in lobbies, in some cases, tenants have said, creating a fire hazard when the boxes obstruct the doors from being able to fully open.

Additionally, last week, Susan Steinberg, president of the Tenants Association, told T&V that this situation didn’t look like it was going to change any time soon.

Last Monday, Steinberg said as she was about to leave a building in Peter Cooper, she caught up with a UPS driver who informed her that door deliveries were “always a courtesy.”

After complaining about the package pileups, Steinberg said the driver explained that the volume of packages has gotten so high that, “We can’t do it anymore or we can’t finish our rounds.”

Steinberg added that she was told at a past meeting with CompassRock that management has spoken with the different carriers about this issue. But since that hasn’t seemed to help, the Tenants Association will be bringing up the issue with management again.

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