Moses couldn’t part the L.E.S.

Photo by Clayton Patterson

Photo by Clayton Patterson

Legendary Lower East Side activist Frances Goldin talked at St. Mark’s Bookshop about the article on her by Chris Brandt in “Jews: A People’s History of The Lower East Side,” edited by Clayton Patterson and Dr. Mareleyn Schneider. Goldin concentrated on her years fighting to preserve affordable housing in the Cooper Square Urban Renewal Area — a swath of buildings designated in the 1950s for “slum clearance” by Planning Czar Robert Moses, centered around the Bowery and Second Ave. on Houston St. and stretching several blocks north and south. Moses wanted to rebuild the area with another Stuyvesant Town. More than 50 years later, thanks to the efforts of Goldin and her fellow housing activists, people in the tenements saved from demolition now finally own their apartments, which will remain affordable in perpetuity.

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One Response to Moses couldn’t part the L.E.S.

  1. Frances Goldin is a treasure – but she's nearly ninety, so we need to learn from her while we can. Check out the history of the Cooper Square MHA, which is the result of the fight she, Esther Rand, and Thelma Burdick led. These are the names of heroes, along with all the others who fought to retain low-income housing stock. But you won't find them on plaques in any Hall of Fame, or even talked about much, since the powers that be don't want you to know about them. If the people knew they could own and manage their own buildings, with non-profit rents of a quarter or less than market rate, landlords wouldn't stand a chance.

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