The story has been told a million times, but this majestic old elementary school should be seized from its bastard-of-an-owner Gregg Singer, restored, and reintroduced to its rightful owner…the community. With hopes of tearing it down and building a massive dorm on the site, Singer began to deface the property so that it would not be designated a landmark. The Landmarks Committee would have none of his douchebaggery and gave it landmark status anyway. Now he wants to sell it for $30,000,000 or just let it sit until it crumbles or gets torched.
I walk the dogs by it almost every morning and it makes me sad because I think about how it could and should be an amazing school for the arts for kids from all over the city. There are so many amazing musicians, artists, poets and actors who still call the East Village home and would jump at the opportunity to pass on what they’ve seen and learned both good and bad to the next generation of taste makers. This amazing relic whose life began in 1906 deserves to be reborn to reflect the artistic locality in which it sits. Singer paid $3,150,000 for it in 2001. Let’s give him his money back and call it a day.