Preservationists say it’s too late for landmarking of Union Square Park

Union Square Park on a recent afternoon (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Union Square Park on a recent afternoon (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

As the Landmarks Preservation Commission began addressing decades worth of backlog last Thursday, representatives for preservation groups expressed surprising opposition to the designation of Union Square Park as a city scenic landmark.

Jack Taylor, speaking on behalf of the Union Square Community Coalition, and Kelly Carroll of the Historic Districts Council opposed the proposed landmarking.

Taylor said in his testimony that landmarking the park as it is today would be a “historical travesty” and he noted that the idea would have had much more support if the LPC had followed through with the landmarking after a public hearing in 1977.

Since then, though, the park has been modified to the point that Taylor said it doesn’t resemble the location of various historical events, including the first Labor Day that was celebrated there in 1882. He said that in 2005, there was a deliberate effort on the part of the city and then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg that drastically changed the nature of the north plaza.

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Muggers attacking victims, snatching phones and cash

Robbery suspects (via NYPD)

Robbery suspects (via NYPD)

By Sabina Mollot

Police are hunting a pair of violent muggers who’ve so far struck three times in two days, attacking victims and snatching cash and cell phones. One of the attacks happened near Stuyvesant Town.

The string of robberies started on Friday, November 6, when two men approached a 24-year-old man in the elevator of his apartment building on 18th Street. The suspects hit him repeatedly with a blunt object in the face, head, and neck. Then, they stole $200 in cash from the victim and fled. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

On Saturday, November 7 at 1 a.m., the suspects approached the 36-year-old man as he was walking in front of 346 East 20th Street, west of First Avenue. One of the suspects repeatedly struck the victim, causing injuries to his face, both hands, as well as his right elbow and right knee. The attackers then swiped the victim’s Samsung cell phone and ran off.

An hour later, the suspects approached a man and woman as they were walking together on 21st Street.

One suspect simulated a weapon at the victims, a 30-year-old man and 35-year-old woman, before snatching an iPhone 6 and multiple credit and debit cards from them.

Police declined to share the avenues the first and third incidents took place, because the locations are the victims’ addresses. However, both incidents happened on the West Side.

The suspects are described as being black, between 18 and 25 years old and between 5 ft. 8 ins. and 5 ft. 10 ins. tall. One was last seen wearing all black. The other was last seen wearing a blue Adidas hooded sweatshirt.

Anyone with information in regards to these incidents is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at www.crimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.