As a resident of this neighborhood, I have long admired the Sasaki Garden in Washington Square Village. Sasaki was a well-known landscape architect and his innovations in the Sasaki garden are well known in the history of landscape architecture.
NYU is turning a deaf ear to the pleas of its neighbors and residents of the community who do not want the
building of towers, commercial rezoning, and other such monstrosities. They also emphatically do not want to see our cultural heritage, embodied in the work of a well-known landscape architect (Hideo Sasaki) destroyed simply for some provisional gym to satisfy some nebulous requirement for some temporary athletic space. Where are NYU's values? Are they an educational and cultural institution or simply a real-estate corporation? Where is the respect for the achievements of the past and the life of the present?
I'm writing specifically to stop any ravaging of the Sasaki garden, but I am also opposed to NYU's massive development plan, i.e., the destruction of our particular neighborhood and community.
I hope you will all see your way clear to support our living heritage and prevent its further desecration for NYU's mindless purposes.
Editor's note: This letter by local resident Rhoma Mostel was sent during the week of December 5, 2011 to Councilmember Chin and Manhattan Borough President Stringer with copies to Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, CAAN, and Save the WSV Sasaki Garden Committee.