The Real Deal New York

Preservationist group under fire for giving Forest City Ratner an award

Municipal Art Society takes beating for plan to honor Bruce Ratner

June 03, 2014 01:00PM

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From left: Bruce Ratner, MaryAnne Gilmartin and Simeon Bankoff

The Municipal Art Society is facing heat from fellow preservationist groups for its plans to bestow Forest City Ratner heads Bruce Ratner and MaryAnne Gilmartin with the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal.

Officials at the Historic Districts Council wrote a letter yesterday, saying the group was “appalled” by the decision to honor Forest City Ratners’ massive Atlantic Yards project. The awards ceremony is slated for June 11. On the same night, the council is slated to screen “Battle for Brooklyn,” a documentary about the Atlantic Yards project’s impact thus far.

“Conflating the company’s record of bulldozing neighborhoods with Mrs. Onassis’s pivotal role in preserving New York City’s Landmarks Law is something H.D.C. feels should not go unnoticed,” according to the letter from the Historic Districts Council. Arlene Simon, president of Landmark West!, also opposed the selection.

The award is named after Onassis, who famously halted plans to develop a tower atop Grand Central Terminal in the 1970s.

In February, the Barclays Center canceled a LandlordsNY property management symposium because Tenant related groups planned to stage a protest against Ratner, as The Real Deal reported. [Capital NY]Mark Maurer

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