Bed-Stuy community members have compiled a list of demands following the demolishment of The Jacob Dangler Mansion, reports Carib News.
The list is directed towards the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), the New York City Department of Buildings, the Mayor’s Office, and developer Tomer Erlich.
Despite repeated community organizing since July, no one protected Bed-Stuy residents from reckless demolition of the community landmark. Workers demolished the mansion without proper permits and smoke and debris plagued surrounding blocks for weeks. And throughout the process, developer Tomer Erlich accrued over $106,500 in fines, 13 citations, and 89 complaints with no consequence to his proposed 7-story high rise building.
The list addresses many of the problems brought to light throughout the attempted landmarking, reckless demolition, and aftermath. The group – which includes elected officials, locals residents, and preservation advocates – continues to hope that their demands will ensure that other Black communities will not have to face the same negligence.
"Justice must be served. Accountability must be taken. The atrocious attack on our community’s beloved crown jewel has left our neighborhood and our hearts with a gaping wound,' stated Lauren Cawdrey, a local small business owner and Vice President of the Willoughby Nostrand Black Association.
"The developer is merely one face of this multi-level corruption. From the questionable mortgages within The Eastern Star, to the blatant lies from LPC and most recently, the violation fines settlement without a hearing, these developers and the people in their pockets have proven they have zero regard for anything other than money. I urge you to delay this sale until more information can come to light and to make an example of these unscrupulous organizations."
Below is the list of demands from the community members.
- Tomer Erlich, associates, or affiliated anonymous LLCs, (“Tomer Erlich et al”) must NOT be permitted to build at 441 Willoughby Ave.
- Tomer Erlich et al must be banned from obtaining any demolition permits in the state of New York.
- ANY building on the site of 441 Willoughby Avenue must require community approval
- Sarah Carroll must resign from her post at the Landmarks Preservation Commission, as well as additional career Landmarks employees involved in the oversight at 441: Mark Silberman, General Counsel for LPC, and Lisa Kersavage, Executive Director at LPC.
- The NYC Government must overhaul and reform the Landmarks Preservation Commission in order to ensure adequate accountability.
- NYC Government must break up the Department of Buildings into multiple departments, as the DOB cannot be trusted to oversee safety, compliance, and enforcement.
- City Hall must answer to the community and provide a thorough admission regarding their culpability.
- The LPC must landmark Willoughby Ave between Nostrand Ave and Marcy Ave for their contiguous brownstones’ high architectural integrity and historical relationship to the rest of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. On Willoughby Ave, the sense of place is heightened by the strong sense of community, including many families that have owned their homes for generations.
- The City must create a community land trust at 441 Willoughby Ave.
- Tomer Erlich must rebuild the Jacob Dangler Mansion at 441 Willoughby Ave brick by brick.