16 May 2008

Provincetown Playhouse Saved!

Lost City hears that, reacting to an avalanche of criticism from all corners, NYU has backed off its plan to destroy the historic Provincetown Playhouse in Greenwich Village. An announcement is expected later today.

Details are sketchy, but the idea is the university—known for its cold-blooded passion for swinging wrecking balls at pieces of New York history—will keep the theatre building in place and build a new structure around it, rather than destroy the entire address in favor of a new edifice. NYU had recently been playing around with a bunch of half-assed half-measures such as keeping the original facade of the playhouse while destroying the rest, or building a theatre that looks like the original theatre back in 1916. But no one was satisfied with those compromises and opponents continued to call NYU every name in the book, threatening to undermine the fragile truce the college had recently fashioned with the surrounding community.

This, if true, counts as a major victory for preservationists and activists citywide.

UPDATE: NYU has released its plans, with diagrams shown on Curbed:

"It is that structure and volume that people passionately feel celebrates the history and heritage of the theater," NYU says in its statement. The internal auditorium will be rebuilt, with some "historical features" and pieces of the existing theater (like the seats) including in the new design.

1 comment:

felliniesque said...

Would that it were this simple. NYU has shown no concrete plans as to dealing with substructure, the tweaking of which would affect two landmarked buildings to the north of it. It also has the smear of the Poe house worrying Villagers that we may be left with but a shadow of the Provincetown Playhouse. They only relented from destroying this landmark after huge community pressure, so on worries...