Save PS 186

Some of you may have been following the efforts to save PS 186. PS 186 is a 107 year old abandoned school on 145th Street designed by famed turn-of-the-century architect C.B. J. Snyder. The school is in danger of being demolished and replaced with an unimaginative high rise.

Members of the community have sent a petition to the Mayor and other city officials requesting that the building be saved. A copy of the letter sent is below.

To follow the efforts to save this historic building, follow:

To our Representatives:

We are petitioning you to save PS 186 from demolition.

The attached petition is signed by over 300 community residents of West Harlem, many more have attended numerous meetings and have tirelessly spoken up on behalf of saving this building.

Several CB9M Committees–Land Use, Zoning & Housing, Historic Preservation, and Arts & Culture have passed resolutions with an overwhelming majority in favor of saving the building. Although passed in Committee, these resolutions never made it to the full board for a vote.
Further, our petition has the support of many neighborhood organizations that have been fighting to save and renovate the building for many years and represent hundreds of people living in this community.

If rehabilitated for adaptive re-use PS 186 will present a grand anchor for 145th Street in West Harlem.

Much needed commercial revitalization of this area in Hamilton Heights, can be accommodated within this existing, beautiful and strong structure. The open courtyards will bustle with life once landscaped and filled with cafes and restaurants. Commercial enterprises will generate jobs and opportunities for the community.

As a cultural and historical asset PS186, designed by famed architect C.B.J. Schneider, is visited by tour groups now and will be even more of an attraction once it is restored as gem of the neighborhood. Neighbors who have seen the building deteriorate will again be proud and pass their memories on as part of the legacy of this neighborhood.

To reuse a building in an adaptive way is the right thing to do: it will be more cost effective than demolishing this solid structure, it will be green and sustainable. Any replacement will be of lesser quality than a building built 100 years ago and will diminish the character of this block.

To demolish this building will be an irreversible decision and a grave mistake.

Please be known to future generations for your efforts and success of saving PS186.

We, the Community of Hamilton Heights, and beyond.