Preserving New York City

We live in an era where the very existence of urban structures can be called into question. Take New York. It is a city founded by Dutch merchants intent on commerce, physical trading of commodities at the juncture of a fjord and an ocean. From these beginnings, cultural institutions were built and great buildings were constructed. When you became rich, you wanted a nice place to live, so you built it.

Forward to 2011. The trading is virtual. Ameritrade makes every citizen his own agent. Cattle no longer roam downtown streets, and the trading houses move to Jersey City.

Why do we need to be here? Rents are lower almost anyplace you can think of. Power and trash disposal are cheaper elsewhere too. You can build yourself a home cinema to run first-run pictures. Why be in New York?

So we depend on government to care for the cultural institutions, the places that make New York what it is. Shame on us. We, private enterprise,  should take care of our own. It is self-serving to do so. What would the new, beautiful Goldman Sachs headquarters be worth as real estate if no one needed to be in New York, for culture. New York is its cultural institutions: the Met, MOMA, the Botanical Garden, all those great places.

Give until it hurts, of your time and of your cash. Support your local palaces, palaces of the people.

Central Savings Bank, NYC Interiors Landmark, Interiors Master Plan: Salvador Behar Architects

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