Gentrification’s Empty Victory

Since the turn of the century, local artists have wanted to revive a once-thriving arts center in an abandoned schoolhouse in the East Village. A developer who purchased the building at an auction in 1998 wants to turn it into a dormitory for college students. An influential historic society has lobbied the city to landmark the building to limit the developer’s options. Even the Latin Kings once attended a Community Board meeting to try to stop its sale in the first place (the “board sided with the gang members, but the city was unmoved”). P.S. 64 has been languishing in this legal purgatory now for two full decades. Is its shell doomed to remain vacant forever, or will someone in a position of power finally make a decision to determine its fate?

Published: Jun 1, 2018
Length: 11 minutes (2,887 words)