Monday, June 2, 2008

Dumb statement by Columbia egghead

"Why do we think of Boston or Philadelphia or New Orleans or Savannah or Charleston as more historic than New York? This is the most historic city in the United States easily. But those cities have more of their historic fabrics because they lost. They wanted to be big cities, and they failed." - Kenneth Jackson as quoted in Expanding a Hospital in Historic Territory

Don't know about you, but to me this guy sounds like a real asshole for saying something like that. First of all, NYC is a very historic city, but it can be argued that Beantown and Philly are at least as historic, if not more historic than NYC. Second, these are all "big" cities. If you mean humongous, can't-take-care-of-the-millions-here-now-but-are-inviting-a-million-more "big", then yeah, NYC wins hands down. The cities on his hit list wisely decided not to sell their souls out and hollow out their neighborhoods for the sake of commerce. And we should pity them for that?


Anonymous said...

Crapper, you really need to do some research before you make comments like this. Philadelphia has for decades or longer been about 1/4 the size of New York City, its standard of living has been considerably lower than New York City's for decades, and the increases in its standard of living attained in the last 10 years has been partly attributable to the new development that it has experienced. Philly and Boston are nice cities, but you can't compare them to NYC as a world-premier city.

Anonymous said...

"If you mean humongous, can't-take-care-of-the-millions-here-now-but-are-inviting-a-million-more "big", then yeah, NYC wins hands down. The cities on his hit list wisely decided not to sell their souls out and hollow out their neighborhoods for the sake of commerce. And we should pity them for that?"

Well said, QC. The only slightly "positive" thing -- and obviously we'd rather that DID NOT HAPPEN -- in the news coverage about the crane tragedy is that at last people are talking about the endless construction and "development" under Bloomberg. Saying anything at all negative about our CEO Mayor is such a rare thing from the media -- but also addressing the endless construction and gentrification of our city (tied together) rarely gets addressed except in a nostalgic, non-critical way.

I think those other cities have more areas where you can walk down the street and feel like you are in another century. In New York... not so much. A lot of that has been bulldozed and paved over.


Anonymous said...

This guy is a smug self satisfied jerk like the rest of the preservation community.

I once contacted him about Queen Catherine when the controversy raged a decade ago.

He never got back to us. Not a word from his lofty summit.

After all, its Queens and there are people out there assigned to take care of issues like that.

Anonymous said...

Philadelphia has for decades or longer been about 1/4 the size of New York City, its standard of living has been considerably lower than New York City's for decades,


Ever been the the Main Line, bub?

Anonymous said...

Philly and Boston are nice cities, but you can't compare them to NYC as a world-premier city.

Boston and San Francisco, smaller cities, have been consistantly ranked by their residents as out scoring NYC in satisfaction.

Might have somthing to do with clean, human scale communities, as opposed to dirty noisy teaming immigrant barrack communities that echo a century ago.

Anonymous said...

After walking around Boston and Philly, I was unimpressed with how much of the Village is left. A tattered patchwork.

Anonymous said...

Crapper, the Philadelphia Main Line is not in Philly proper. It is the name for the posh suburbs along the main line of the old Pennsylvania Railroad (now Amtrak). Looks like what you're looking for in NYC has long since vanished with the close of the Nineteenth Century. The evident lack of upper-middle-class, WASP gentility seems to be your main gripe that Queens, and NYC by extension, makes you so unhappy.

Queens Crapper said...

I didn't write the comment about the Main Line. All I know is that Philadelphia is proud of its history and loved it so much that it preserved it. Here we bulldoze it and pave it over.

Anonymous said...

I think your perceptions are a bit cloudy Crapper:

After struggling through the Great Depression, World War II created jobs and brought the city out of the Depression. However, after the war there was a severe housing shortage with about half the city's housing being built in the 19th century, many of which lacked proper facilities. Adding to housing problem was white flight, as African Americans and Puerto Ricans moved into new neighborhoods resulting in racial tension. After a population peak of over two million residents in 1950 the city's population declined while the suburban neighboring counties grew. After a five year investigation into corruption into city government, the outcry with what the investigation found led the drafting of a new city charter in 1950. The city charter strengthened the position of the mayor and weakened the city council among other changes to help prevent the corruption of the past. The first Democratic mayor since the first half of the 19th century was elected in 1951. However, after two early reform mayors, a Democratic political organization had established itself replacing the old Republican one.

Protests, riots and racial tensions were common in the 1960s and 70s. Mostly drug related gang violence plagued the city and crack houses invaded the city's slums. Confrontations between police and the radical group MOVE culminated when the police dropped a satchel bomb on their headquarters starting a fire that killed eleven MOVE members and destroyed sixty-two neighboring houses. Revitalization and gentrification of neighborhoods began in the 1960s and continues into the 21st century, with much of the development in the Center City and University City areas of the city. After many of the old manufacturers and businesses had left Philadelphia or shut down, the city started attracting service businesses and began to more aggressively market itself as a tourist destination. Glass and granite skyscrapers were built in Center City and historic areas such as Independence National Historical Park were improved. This has slowed the city's forty-year population decline after losing nearly a quarter of its population.

Out of the ten most populous cities in the United States in 2006, Philadelphia had the highest homicide rate at 28 per 100,000 people, though the number of murders decreased to 392 in 2007

Ed Rendell was elected the city's first Jewish mayor in 1992. When Rendell became mayor the city had numerous unpaid bills, the lowest bond rating of the top fifty largest U.S. cities, and a budget deficit of US$250 million. Rendell was able to attract investment in the city and was soon able to stabilize the city's finances and even produce small budget surpluses. Revitalization of parts of Philadelphia continued in the 1990s. In 1993 a new convention center was opened creating a hotel boom with seventeen hotels opening between 1998 and 2000 and the city began promoting its historic sites, festivals, and entertainment to attract tourists. In 2005 National Geographic Traveler named Philadelphia America's Next Great City citing its recent revitalization and general cityscape.

Former city council president John F. Street was elected mayor in 1999 and city revitalization continued into the 21st century. The Street administration targeted some of the city's worst neighborhoods for revitalization and has seen considerable progress. Tax breaks created in 1997 and 2000 helped create a CONDOMINIUM BOOM (emphasis added) in Center City, increasing the population of Center City and helping slow down the city's forty-year population decline. The population of Center City rose to 88,000 in 2005 from 78,000 in 2000 and the number of household grew by 24 percent

Queens Crapper said...

And despite all this, Philly still managed to out preserve NYC, which is the point of this post.

Anonymous said...

Crapper - on what facts do you base that statement? You just keep making conclusory statements with no supporting facts. NYC has a tremendous amount of preserved historical buildings and architecture. If you wanted to match building by building, I'm sure NYC would fare pretty well. Philly has been a high-crime, population-dwindling city for decades that only reversed the bad times when it built and developed. Stop just making statements off the top of your head.

Anonymous said...

Here is some information on San Francisco:

During the administration of Mayor Dianne Feinstein (1978-1988), San Francisco saw a development boom referred to as "Manhattanization." Many large skyscrapers were built — primarily in the Financial District — but the boom also included high-rise condominiums in some residential neighborhoods. An opposition movement gained traction among those who felt the skyscrapers ruined views and destroyed San Francisco's unique character. Similar to the freeway revolt in the city decades earlier, a "skyscraper revolt" forced the city to embed height restrictions in the planning code. For many years, the limits slowed construction of new skyscrapers, but recent (2000-2007) housing pressures have led to master plan changes which will allow new construction of high-rise structures like One Rincon Hill along The Embarcadero, Rincon Hill and in the South of Market district. This second wave of towers has met little opposition unlike the first wave.

By 2003, the city's economy had recovered from the dot-com crash thanks to a resurgent international tourist industry. Residential demand as well as rents are on the rise again and as a result of such demand, city officials have relaxed building height restrictions and zoning codes to allow another wave of Manhattanization in the city in the form of very tall residential condominiums in SOMA such as One Rincon Hill, 300 Spear Street, and Millennium Tower. In addition to this, a major transformation of the neighborhood is planned with the Transbay Terminal Replacement Project, which if funded, is planned to be open by 2013 along with what will be the tallest skyscraper on the West Coast with a cluster of other supertall skyscrapers next to it.

Queens Crapper said...

Actually, it was Kenneth Jackson who said Philly has more preserved than NYC and that was a reason it was a failure. Are your problems related to short-term memory failure or knee-jerk$ response to anything posted here? They have medication for the former...

Anonymous said...

Crappy, your troll is a real turd. Get your head out of your ass, Mr. Realtor!

Anonymous said...

My my my it seems someone has knowledge of development flavored websites on historic cities.

To volunteer and have so much time on my hands to gleam these nuggets.

Does anyone have the time or inclination to respond to this dival?

Anonymous said...

There are dozens of sites on preservation in those cities - and they actually have parks on their waterfronts wasting all that space on the public.


The problem with Jackson, like the rest of his ilk in NY, is that they are smug and self satisfied, and have turned their backs on 80% of the city.

Oh, when the barbarians crash the gates of Rome I will cheer!!

Anonymous said...

It's those Bloomberg jerk-offs preaching their mindless pro over development babble again.

They reveal themselves by their usual puffed up lengthy posts,
which are often riddled with inaccuracies.

"Parkside" isn't exactly
top drawer when it comes to
slick PR work.

They're only good as political low life lobbyists!

Try using another publicity firm.
You get what you pay for.

Anonymous said...

Kenneth Jackass...Summa Cum Dumber!