Members of the Bed-Stuy community have compiled a list of demands after Jacob Dangler’s mansion was demolished, Carib News reports.
The listing is for the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), the New York City Building Department, the Mayor’s Office, and developer Tomer Ehrlich.
Despite the community’s repeated organizing since July, no one has protected the Bed Stowe residents from the reckless demolition of the community landmark. Workers demolished the mansion without proper permits, and smoke and debris plagued nearby blocks for weeks. And throughout the process, developer Tomer Erlich has racked up more than $106,500 in fines, 13 citations, and 89 complaints with no consequences for his proposed 7-story high-rise building.
The list addresses many of the issues that were highlighted during the destruction attempts, reckless demolition, and thereafter. The group — which includes elected officials, local residents and conservationists — still hopes their demands will ensure other black communities don’t have to face the same neglect.
Justice must be done. Accountability must be taken. “The brutal attack on the beloved crown jewel of our community has left our region and our hearts with a deep wound,” said Lorraine Cowdery, local small business owner and Vice President of the Willoughby Nostrand Black Association.
“The developer is just one face of this multi-level corruption. From questionable mortgages within The Eastern Star, to blatant lies from an LPC and more recently the settlement of infraction fines without a hearing, these developers and the people in their pockets have proven they don’t care about anything other than money. I urge you to delay this sale until more information emerges and to set an example for these unscrupulous organizations.”
Below is a list of requests from community members.
- Tomer Erlich, partners or anonymous LLCs (“Tomer Erlich et al”) shall not be permitted to build at 441 Willoughby Ave.
- Tomer Erlich et al should be barred from obtaining any demolition permits in New York State.
- Any building on the 441 Willoughby Avenue site must require community approval
- Sarah Carroll should resign from her position on the Landmarks Preservation Commission, as well as two additional Landmarks employees who share oversight at the 441: Mark Silberman, LPC general counsel, and Lisa Kersavage, LPC executive director.
- The New York City government must reform and overhaul the Landmarks Preservation Commission in order to ensure adequate accountability.
- The New York City government should split the building department into multiple departments, as the DOB cannot be trusted to oversee safety, compliance, and enforcement.
- City Hall must answer to the community and make a comprehensive admission of guilt.
- The LPC should identify the Willoughby Ave landmark between Nostrand Ave and Marcy Ave because of its high adjacent architectural integration with brownstones and its historical relationship to the rest of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. On Willoughby Ave, the sense of place is heightened by a strong sense of community, including many families who have owned their homes for generations.
- The city should establish a community land trust at 441 Willoughby Ave.
- Tomer Erlich has to rebuild Jacob Dangler’s mansion at 441 Willoughby Ave brick by brick.