SEA CLIFF RESIDENT DELIVERS PETITION REQUESTING DELAY IN DEMOLITION OF HISTORIC GWL POWER PLANT
February 1, 2014 -- At Tuesday evening's North Hempstead Town Council meeting, Sea Cliff resident Karin Barnaby presented Supervisor Judi Bosworth with a petition calling on the Town to take action to delay the demolition of the nearly 100 year-old Glenwood Landing Power Plant. Ms. Barnaby spoke during the three-minute time allotment for public comment of the plant's historical importance, and the benefits re-purposing the structure would bring to both the community and the property owners.
In a written statement that was submitted to Ms. Bosworth and Town Clerk Wayne Wink, Ms. Barnaby said that her petition calls on "National Grid to hold off demolition of the historic, architecturally unique “Power Station 2” until full consideration can be given to ways this landmark building might be most advantageously and profitably repurposed as a commercial, tax-paying enterprise as quickly as possible, and its prime waterfront revitalized and made accessible to the public for the benefit of the greater Glenwood Landing-North Shore-Hempstead Harbor community, now and in the future." (See below for full written statement)
Ms. Barnaby launched her petition drive this past summer, and has collected 780 signatures. Two weeks ago she delivered the statement to officials at National Grid during a meeting with residents of the North Shore community at the company's Hicksville administrative offices. At that meeting, company representatives stated that demolition of the the structure would begin next month, and be completed by December. After the land is remediated, National Grid intends to black top it with asphalt.
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Saving And Repurposing The Glenwood Landing Power Plant: Toward A Comprehensive Hempstead Harbor Waterfront Revitalization
• The Change.org petition asks National Grid to hold off demolition of the historic, architecturally unique “Power Station 2” until full consideration can be given to ways this landmark building might be most advantageously and profitably repurposed as a commercial, tax-paying enterprise as quickly as possible, and its prime waterfront revitalized and made accessible to the public for the benefit of the greater Glenwood Landing-North Shore-Hempstead Harbor community, now and in the future.
• National Grid will leave behind minimally remediated lands, unsightly substations, turbines, oil tanks and high voltage overhead cables and transmission towers that will render the site permanently unsuitable for residential use, as well as for most other commercial uses that are neighborhood-friendly and waterfront-accessible for area residents
• All over the country and world, power plants and industrial sites are being repurposed for both the public good and corporate profit (see below for links to informational articles).
• Surely, the environmentally responsible, commercially viable regeneration of our North Shore-Hempstead Harbor communities and waterfront, in the long run, must take precedence over National Grid's desire to minimize its tax assessment, in the short run.
• Surely, major decisions about our community's economic and environmental well-being and future should not be determined by National Grid's self interest alone, but require the input of ALL area residents and the leadership of ALL local, town, county, state and federal policy makers, civic and political leaders.
Good reasons for saving and repurposing the Glenwood Landing plant:
• The GWL plant is historically and architecturally unique on Long Island. Such plants were designed as civic monuments with the best architectural features of their day.
• Preserving older buildings has become a standard component of urban renewal projects and is an aspect of Green Building.
• The Chelsea Piers Company, for example, is a successful commercial enterprise that embraces the challenge of repurposing such mammoth structures—rotting piers in New York City and an old Clairol factory/warehouse in Stamford, CT—into hugely popular indoor field sports and recreation facilities. Chelsea Piers CT created 900 construction jobs; between 400 to 600 related jobs in other areas; and 250 permanent jobs in Stamford.
• Repurposing the GWL plant’s magnificent waterfront building and site, as a revenue-generating, commercial Chelsea Piers-like sports, recreation and arts facility, would result in a win-win for everyone—for tax-payers, for LIPA/PSE&G, for National Grid, for political leaders and, most importantly: for area team-sports families and enthusiasts, whose demand for playing fields and sports facilities has long exceeded supply.
• The Clairol factory/warehouse conversion took only two years to complete, thanks to the impressive building-recycling and can-do philosophy of the Chelsea Piers owners and architect, and the clear-eyed vision of the Stamford mayor and other civic and political leaders who had the imagination, will and courage to “aggressively” court Chelsea Piers executives
• The decommissioning of the GWL power generating plant offers an extraordinary opportunity for re-imagining the building and site as a fabulous, revenue-generating asset and resource for all our communities. At this time, LIPA/ PSE&G, National Grid, Town of North Hempstead, Town of Oyster Bay, Nassau County and Albany leaders have an obligation to provide the community that the utility has exploited for so many generations with compensation in the form of creating something wonderful in that building and in that location—something that will contribute to the regeneration and future well-being of Glenwood Landing and the greater North Shore and Hempstead Harbor community and waterfront.
• To succeed as a viable commercial undertaking, such a facility in GWL would require optimal access. A western access, linking Glenwood Road with Bar Beach, West Shore Road, 25A and beyond, would offer total access from all directions. A short bridge, attractively designed—in keeping with the GWL plant’s brick arches perhaps, or evoking the stunning sail-shaped cable bridges of France—with multiple lanes for accommodating strollers, skaters, bicycle riders and anglers, as well as motorists, would need no more than a single support pier (if that) to span that narrow channel. It would not block the tidal exchange and hardly disturb the sea floor.
• This direct link between Hempstead Harbor’s east and west shores and beyond, would also allow commuters to bypass many miles of tortuous, narrow back roads through Roslyn Harbor and Roslyn, while easing the horrific twice-daily traffic congestion in those communities.
• Imagine a revitalized and accessible visitor-and-user-friendly waterfront with hiking, jogging, skating and bicycle paths, leading all the way from Sea Cliff to Port Washington—creating Hempstead Harbor’s very own “Highline.”
• Imagine the historically unique, repurposed GWL plant with a world-class sports and recreation facility housed completely inside its mammoth space—a first step toward the commercially viable and environmentally responsible regeneration of what is presently a largely user-unfriendly and haphazardly developed Hempstead Harbor waterfront.
Imagination, Will and Courage
• The greatest obstacles to realizing a good idea are the lack of imagination, will and courage on the part of policy makers and politicians. North Hempstead and Oyster Bay Supervisors and Council Members, Nassau County and NY State political leaders must prevail upon National Grid to hold off demolishing the GWL power plant until full consideration can be given to ways the landmark building might be repurposed for everyone's benefit now and for future generations.
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Links to resources and informational articles about:
1) Saving the Glenwood Landing plant
2) Power plant/industrial building recycling
3) Chelsea Piers NYC & CT
1) GWL plant:
"Power Plans" http://www.northwordnews.com/lipa---future.html
Facebook “Save the Glenwood power plant” page: www.facebook.com/groups/683394378342936/
Chang.org petition to save the Glenwood Landing power plant:www.change.org/petitions/save-the-glenwood-landing-power-plant-from-demolition
Glen Cove Patch: "OPINION: Reasons to Save, Repurpose Glenwood Landing Power Plant"
CBS News update: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/11/15/north-shore-residents-mixed-over-what-should-replace-glenwood-power-plant-smoke-stacks/
2) Power plant/industrial building recycling
NYT “From Power Plant to Civic Renewal Centerpiece”
Schumer pledges federal support for Yonkers power plant rehab
Glenwood plant Yonkers - http://untappedcities.com/2013/09/24/interior-demolition-abandoned-glenwood-power-plant-yonkers/
Torpedo Factory: http://www.torpedofactory.org/galleries/target_newworks_venues.htm
SteelStacks – Bethlehem PA: http://www.steelstacks.org/
Battersea Power Station – London, UK: www.batterseapowerstation.co.uk
3) Chelsea Piers projects
Stamford Advocate “Chelsea Piers celebrates pending debut”
WSJ "Chelsea Piers Puts Ashore in Stamford: Former Clairol Factory Is Converted Into Recreation Facility”
A Chelsea Piers CT Birthday - Stamford Style
Posted by Barbara Heins (Editor) , July 09, 2013 at 08:32 PM
Chelsea Piers NYC: http://www.chelseapiers.com/
(Click on headline for link to article)
SEA CLIFF RESIDENT WITH AN APPRECIATION OF THE PAST AND A VISION FOR THE FUTURE LEADS FIGHT TO SAVE THE GLENWOOD LANDING POWER PLANT (July 28, 2013)
AT MEETING WITH NS RESIDENTS, NATIONAL GRID OUTLINES PLANS FOR GLENWOOD LANDING PROPERTY AND TAX ASSESSMENTS (January 29, 2014)
SCHOOL BOARD EXPRESSES UNCERTAINTY REGARDING POTENTIAL TAX SHIFT FROM GWL PLANT RAMP-DOWN (January 19, 2014)
NS SUPERINTENDENT REPORTS IMPROVEMENT IN FISCAL OUTLOOK AS BUDGET SEASON NEARS (November 23, 2013)
BOARD NOTES - North Shore School Board Meeting,