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.

  1. Tomer Erlich, associates, or affiliated anonymous LLCs, (“Tomer Erlich et al”) must NOT be permitted to build at 441 Willoughby Ave.
  2. Tomer Erlich et al must be banned from obtaining any demolition permits in the state of New York.
  3. ANY building on the site of 441 Willoughby Avenue must require community approval
  4. 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.
  5. The NYC Government must overhaul and reform the Landmarks Preservation Commission in order to ensure adequate accountability.
  6. NYC Government must break up the Department of Buildings into multiple departments, as the DOB cannot be trusted to oversee safety, compliance, and enforcement.
  7. City Hall must answer to the community and provide a thorough admission regarding their culpability.
  8. 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.
  9. The City must create a community land trust at 441 Willoughby Ave.
  10. Tomer Erlich must rebuild the Jacob Dangler Mansion at 441 Willoughby Ave brick by brick.

Kimberlean Donis

Kimberlean Donis is a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn. She is a student at both London City University and Williams College majoring in Political Science, Art History, and Africana Studies.

Join the Conversation

2

  1. I hope anyone reading this understands how important it is to NOT blindly vote for Democrats just because you live in NYC.

    NOT ALL DEMS ARE THE SAME.

    If you believe that Chi Osse cared, or did ANYTHING to stop the demolition of this building, you are being naive. Check his Instagram comments (before he deletes them) and you’ll see that people were calling this thing to his attention for MONTHS and many of his comments included “I can’t tell the building owners what to do…” or “I can’t go against the will of the people who own the building…”

    There’s quite a bit you COULD have done as a City Councilmember.

    Whenever these rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods need a new bike lane or an “OpenStreet”, many of these “New Kings” Dems are all on board so they can add “supported Public Safety” to their resume.

    Meanwhile, the aforementioned gentrification and erosion of long standing Black and Brown communities continues. They can’t get anything of substance done in that regard, so they focus on whatever StreetsPac and TransAlt can whip up, and then they plaster it all over their social media so everyone can see and they can virtue signal about it.

    My advice to many of you are to start looking at who is donating to these candidates campaigns.

    http://www.nyccfb.info/

    Do they actually have the support of the communities that they claim to represent?

    Who is donating to them?

    Are they actually representing their community?

    OR…are they doing whatever their donors want them to do and claiming that it’s in the best interest of the community?

    You don’t have to vote Republican, nor should you, because it seems that the GOP is still addicted to the “Orange Crack” and they need rehab for it.

    But if you’re living in NYC, and your City Council rep is essentially shrugging their shoulders to situations like this until it goes up in smoke, then you probably need to get more involved, more aware, and start peeling back the layers.

    This is especially true in a post-Bill Dumblasio Era of NYC, where the Black and Brown populations of Bed-Stuy, Clinton Hill/Fort Greene, Crown Heights, Bushwick, Flatbush, and many other areas are dropping exponentially, year over year, decade over decade.

    We aren’t ALL killing each other, like a certain FoxNews idiot would like to claim, and even the ones that are, aren’t doing it because they enjoy it.

    Stop tearing Black and Brown neighborhoods apart to build luxury condos and amenities for yuppies with disposable income and/or big money salaries that should realistically be going to the sons and daughters of the people of color who have lived in NYC for generations.

    Start actually working towards Black and Brown folks being able to not only maintain the equity in their neighborhoods, but pass on generational wealth to their kids and grandkids.

    Stop pretending you care about public schools and the quality of the education that your average student is getting in NYC

    Start advocating on behalf of the people who occupy these neighborhoods and will continue to, if they have the same opportunities that their White transplant contemporaries have.

    Many of these councilmembers are up for reelection in 2023…the choice is yours…

  2. Everything that is being said about the reckless demolition of historic community structures should be stopped! As a resident of Bedford Stuyvesant, I would like to add my name to the list of those who are properly representing our neighborhood.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.