April 12, 2006
Dear Gwen Goodwin:
Thank you for your recent invitation to include me in upcoming discussions with the Manhattan Borough President's office with respect to reusing of PS 109 as an educational facility.  I regret to inform you that I can longer participate in such discussions since I have been retained by Artspace, Inc. and El Barrio's Operation Fightback as a co-architect to redesign the building into artists affordable housing.  This reuse of the building has already been sanctioned by Community Board 11, the NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the NYC Dept. of Education (DOE).  Furthermore, it would be unethical and unprofessional for me to attend meetings that would contradict the goals of my clients.
Although we were successful in saving the building from demolition in 2000, through your Coalition to Save PS 109, it has become quite clear that the DOE is no longer interested in reusing the building and will demolish it unless HPD redevelops it with Artspace & EBOF.  I am pleased that I was able to offer you my technical skills in saving this building.  But as a preservationist I would like to see the building be saved and, therefore, have become part of the team that will renovate it.  Although your goal of educational use is admirable, the quality of education and student space requirements is a more global issue, and should continue but should be separated from trying to reuse this building.
Raymond Plumey, FAIA
Architect & Planner, PC
308 Pleasant Avenue
New York, NY 10035-4417
(212) 410-4931
(212) 410-3721 fax