The City never learns. Nobody learns.
Five years ago, I found out that a group of buildings that once housed several of the historic music publishing buildings that made up Tin Pan Alley, the cultural entity that did nothing less than create the Great American Songbook, were on the block, in danger of being torn down and replaced by apartment towers. The media leaped on the story, bemoaning the street's probable fate. Between that, and the economic crash of late 2008, the buildings were saved. That is, they weren't demolished. But neither were they preserved through landmarking, as they should have been. As they should have been long ago.
Well, the same strip of five-story buildings—47 through 55 W. 28th Street—are again up for sale. And again the agent is the ravenous Massey Knakal, which has done more than any other real estate agency in the city to decimate the city's architectural and cultural heritage. "This Chelsea/Madison Square Park nighborhood has experienced a unique renaissance of hotel conversions, recent residential developments, office building restorations, trendy eatery's [sic] and excellent shopping," the listing breathlessly relates. "All retail units could be delivered vacant."
Additionally, No. 45 is also up for sale, but by a different realtor.
Back in 2008, there was an effort to get the whole block of W. 28th Street between Broadway Fifth landmarked. The Landmarks Commission expressed interest, but has done nothing in the ensuing five years. Since then, the tenants of the buildings won a legal campaign and no longer face eviction, and, as part of the settlement, the buildings have had restorative façade work done.