No Home In The Hall
Getting to Carnegie Hall may take practice, but staying there is a whole different story.
The tenants of New York’s Carnegie Hall studio towers, some of whom have lived there for more than 50 years, are facing eviction in the owners’ plans for renovating the space.
The towers have a storied history, housing legendary artists, performers, photographers and musicians over the years.
Tenant Andrew Bergman, who’s lived in there for a quarter-century, told the New York Times the towers are a historical treasure and a unique community worth saving.
"Brando, who I later worked with, had lived on my floor," Bergman said. "Marilyn Monroe took acting lessons there, Lucille Ball took voice. It’s a great feeling of an artistic community. If you’re a writer, it’s great. You can’t get that in a building full of lawyers."
The Carnegie Hall Corporation says it’s all in the name of progress, announcing May 21st that its board approved renovation plans for the studio towers to meet the needs of the Hall’s growing education programs.
"After rigorous study, it has been concluded that Carnegie Hall’s growing needs will require it to occupy 100 percent of available space found within the existing building’s footprint, including those spaces in its Studio Towers that are currently occupied by tenants," a statement said.
But when the residents were recently served with eviction notices, they decided they weren’t going to leave without a fight.
Tenants filed suit against the CHC and the city in state supreme court August 2nd, the New York Sun reported, declaring that their leases should be renewed.
According to court documents obtained by the Sun, the suit cites a law that declares a landlord cannot evict a tenant in a rent-controlled unit unless the landlord is planning to demolish the tenant’s building.
Because the CHC is planning to gut and renovate the towers, the tenants claim they cannot be evicted, as "only an actual razing of the structure" could be considered demolition.