Coalition to Save P.S. 109
Phone 212-534-0963   Email:

Home Video Shows Demolition by Neglect:
What did Political Hack Wheeler Dealer
Do with the $2 Million for Maintenance? »
Corporate Media Propaganda Blitz on P.S. 109
After Expansion of pro-School Efforts »
Sun., Feb. 5
11am sharp
Love Cafe
Pleasant Ave.
115-116 St.
The time draws nigh, and the spirit is high:

Since having initiated this struggle in 1999, we are determined to make sure the PS 109 building is saved and restored to use for the children of the East Harlem / El Barrio community.
Gwen Goodwin, founder and chair of the Coalition to Save P.S. 109 is running for New York City Council, District #8. Visit Gwen's campaign website (CLICK).
  • Please sign our PETITION to NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.
  • Or download a hard-copy petition to be printed out, circulated and signed manually.
URGENT: Call Schools Chancellor
Dennis Walcott
and Demand Restoration and Reopening of P.S. 109, AS A SCHOOL!
December 4, 2007 - Ivette Feliciano of Columbia Journalism School puts Coalition to Save P.S. 109 on the map with YouTube video interview.

East Harlem’s Unresolved Dilemma
by Jessica Hartogs Oakley

The grand, old building of Pubic School 109 sits empty, as it has done for the past 16 years, on 99th and 3rd Avenue, in the heart of East Harlem.

An ongoing dispute between local residents, state government and a redevelopment company based out in Minneapolis means that it has never reopened since the school was shut down in 1995.

[Gwen Goodwin and the Coalition to Save P.S. 109] wants P.S. 109 to be renovated and turned back into a public school. [Some local politicians and lobbyists] want the building to be converted into luxury apartments and artists lofts.... (Read more »)

by Lucy Pawle, Oct. 14, 2011

School overcrowding is a hot topic in the area, and to Hector Nazario, president of the District’s Community Education Council, the cause is simple. “We have an overcrowding in East Harlem simply because 109 was closed,” he says.

But [Melissa] Mark-Viverito says that this argument is "moot....” Read Full Article: »

Summary of our August 27, 2007, meeting with the Mayor's Office, from notes by Ed Henry (CLICK)

March 24, 2007: Petition Drive Kickoff Rally (CLICK)

Community Educational District 15 Resolution Demanding P.S. 109 be restored as a school within the Department of Education! (CLICK)

Gwen Goodwin INTERVIEW (CLICK) on WBAI-99.5FM by Deepa Fernandez as host of "Wake Up Call" Show: TRANSCRIPT »(CLICK)

Irate El Barrio / East Harlem citizens say:


  • Denise Ramirez sounds off to Mayor Michael Bloomberg(CLICK).
  • Rev. Norman Eddy rallies fellow clergy and sounds off to Schools Commissioner Joel Klein: Why won't he listen???(CLICK).
  • Lydia Lopez sounds off to Councilmember Melissa Mark Viverito and the Clubhouse Gang of 4!!!(CLICK).
Will of the People Forum, Oct. 23, 2006 (Photos) (CLICK)
  • See Artspace, HPD (Housing Preservation and Development, the agency which would take the P.S. 109 building over as a prerequisite to handing it to Artspace) and School Construction Authority communications we obtained pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law ("FOIL Material") from HPD (CLICK), and another FOIL packet from the NYC Board/Department of Education (CLICK)
  • But see also, in response to so-far denied FOIL material: The Outrageous and Illicit Secrecy Surrounding the PS 109 Land Grab (CLICK)
  • A Department of Education Memo (CLICK) shows that as late as May 2003, P.S. 109 was still budgeted for Design/Scope. How was it removed and slated for the threatened Artspace giveaway??? (CLICK)
Oct. 23 2006 Will of the People Forum



NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn letter to Gwen Goodwin detailing interest in P.S. 109. (PDF) (HTML)!

Summary of our August 27, 2007, meeting with the Mayor's Office, from notes by Ed Henry (CLICK)

Rev. Norman Eddy urges Mayor Bloomberg to do the right thing: Save and Restore P.S.109: (CLICK).

Rev. Norman Eddy urges Schools Commissioner Klein to do the right thing: Save and Restore P.S.109: (CLICK).

Gwen Goodwin to NY Governor Eliot Spitzer, May 16, 2007, asking to direct Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to investigate sleaze in the proposed no-bid giveaway of P.S. 109 to Artspace. Inc.: (CLICK).

Gwen Goodwin to NY Governor Eliot Spitzer, January 12, 2007: (CLICK).

Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters, along with a burgeoning list of supporters signing on, writes Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein. (CLICK)

Letter from Claire Anderson of NY Schools Chancellor Joel Klein's office, absurdly claiming that East Harlem and El Barrio have such adequate school space now, that converting PS 109 to "affordable" housing is the way to go. One problem: Schools are not housing! Furthermore, the current Artspace "housing" will be affordable for those with incomes approaching $50,000 a year, some sort of "artist" credentials, possible connections will help with getting selected. (CLICK).

Community Educational Council #4 urges Mayor to restore P.S. 109 AS A SCHOOL within the Department of Education!(CLICK)!

United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten leads in signing on to restoring P.S. 109 AS A SCHOOL!(CLICK)!

Rev. Norman Eddy alerts the clergy to SAVE PS 109 from the current Artspace plan (CLICK)!

Gwen Goodwin announces upcoming meeting with Borough President Scott Stringer(CLICK).

NYC Schools Chancellor responds to Gwen Goodwin's letter to Mayor Bloomberg. (CLICK) "Authority concedes nothing without a demand!"

NO DONE DEAL: Official assurance that the PS 109 building has not yet been transferred to HPD (CLICK). East Harlem expected better from Ray Plumey who wrote Gwen Goodwin on April 12, 2006, to announce his resignation from the Coalition to Save PS 109 as a conflict of interest with his defection to ArtSpace, Inc., partnering with Harlem Fightback, against the perspective of restoring P.S. 109 as a school within the NYC Education Department (CLICK)!

Gwen Goodwin's Mar. 3, 2006 letter to Mayor Bloomberg (CLICK) and Mar. 6, 2006 letter to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (CLICK), urging that P.S.109 be restored as a community school!

Feb. 21, 2006. Letter from Carolyn Zern, of the HPD Office on Development, to Gwen Goodwin: "The building is still under Department of Education ownership, though HPD has a “hold” on the building." ( CLICK).

Dec 10, 2005: Susan Tunick as President of Friends of Terra Cotta/New York State, writes to Mayor Bloomberg on behalf of saving P.S. 109 (CLICK)

Nov. 17, 2005. Letter from Carolyn Zern, of the HPD Office on Development, to Gwen Goodwin, clarifying HPD's position and technicalities on P.S. 109 ( CLICK).

Our Nov. 14, 2005 letter to Mayor Bloomberg, urging that P.S.109 be restored as a community school! (CLICK)

William H. Goldstein, CEO and President of the NYC School Construction Authority, replies (April 21, 2005 (CLICK) and July 14, 2005 (CLICK)) to our April letters.

On April 7, 2005, Gwen Goodwin and the Coalition to Save P.S. 109 wrote a letter to Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, supporting Schools District #4's request to fund the restoration of the urgently needed P.S. 109... CLICK

...along with a request to many influential members of the community suggesting a mass letter-writing campaign also calling for the inclusion of P.S. 109 restoration and maintenance in the Schools Budget.

One such letter is from the Rev. Norman C. Eddy.

The struggle continues, however, since as shown in a reply by NYC School Construction Authority President and CEO William H. Goldstein, the NYC Education Department is currently refusing to spend a dime, outraging the community.

Ruth L. Pierpont of the NYS Historic Preservation Field Services Bureau notifies Gwen Goodwin for the Coalition to Save P.S. 109 that the building will be recommended to be listed with the NYS Registry of Historic Places, and will be submitted for review to the National Keeper of the Registry of Historic Places. ( CLICK )

Ruth L. Pierpont of the NYS Historic Presedrvation Field Services Bureau notifies Gwen Goodwin for the Coalition to Save P.S. 109 that the building will be reviewed for nomination to the State and National Registries of Historic Places. ( CLICK )

Peg Breen, President of the New York Landmarks Conservancy at the urging of the Coalition to Save P.S. 109 puts on notice the Board of Education through Patricia Zedalis, Chief of the School Facilities Division of the Board of Education, that P.S. 109 is NOT to be demolished. ( CLICK )

Ruth L. Pierpont of the NYS Historic Preservation Field Services Bureau informs the NYC School Construction Authority that they may not demolish P.S. 109 without first consulting the Historic Preservation Office, an effective veto over the destruction. ( CLICK )

Request to Jennifer Raab, chair of the NYC Landmarks and Preservation Commission, for a NYC landmark to protect and preserve PS 109. ( CLICK )


A.M. New York article again shows P.S. 109 giveaway to "ArtSpace" is NOT a done deal! "[Mayor] Mike's Overlooked Plans - Congestion pricing only one part of mayor's 2030 agenda - P.S. 109"-Oct. 29, 2007 (CLICK)

New York Times article again shows P.S. 109 giveaway to "ArtSpace" is NOT a done deal! "A Glimpse of the End in a Long Tug of War "-August 6, 2006 (CLICK)

New York Times article shows big school buildings like P.S. 109 provide school space more efficiently! "-August 3, 2006 (CLICK)

New York Post article points to plot ("School to become "'Housing'")-July 18, 2006 (CLICK)

Gang of Four (Rangel, Serrano, Powell and Mark-Viverito) incredibly converge in last ditch attempt to prevent PS 109 restoration as a school! (CLICK)!
Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE)/City Councilmember Robert Jackson win decision: Court of Appeals directs Pataki immediately to relinquish $14.5 billion in school funds, including $10 million for P.S. 109! (CLICK)!

OUR SCHOOL, OUR JEWEL: Gwen Goodwin's Op Ed article in East Harlem's new Tiempo, newly published by Peter Paris (CLICK)!

One Woman's Dream: A Switch between two schoolhouses, but now the City wants to demolish both! (NY Times, Jun. 5, 2005). (CLICK).

In its "Glimpse of Sun in City Budget," the New York Times (May 6, 2005) points to the following highlight from the mayor's spending proposals: "Education: School construction, 13.7 billion; class-size reduction and intervention for struggling students $35 million; expanded advanced placement programs, $2.8 million; CUNY renovations, $415 million." CLICK

NY Times, July 5, 2001, by Tracie Rozhon: Last Bell Rings for Historic Schools (CLICK )

NY Times, Feb. 11, 2001, by Seth Kugel: Renewal Looms for a Grand School Just Saved from the Wrecking Ball (CLICK )

NY Observer, by Matt Pheenza: New Life for Old School? (CLICK )

NY Times, Jan. 22, 2000, by Robert A.M. Stern: "Schools Too Grand To Turn Into Trash" (CLICK )

NY Times, Nov. 21, 1999, by Christopher Gray: "Architect Who Taught a Lesson in School Design" (CLICK )

NY Post, May 9, 1999, by Tom Topousis: "City missed goldmine in old Harlem school" (CLICK )

NY Times, April 4, 1999, by Corey Kilgannon: Ornate Old School is Stripped of Gothic Details (CLICK )

Maria Vega of El Diario, April 1, 1999--"They are destroying an architectural treasure". ( CLICK)

Maria Vega of El Diario, April 1, 1999--Asbstos contamination feared in SCA's typically incompetent demolition attempt. (CLICK)


P.S. 109: Tip of Bloomberg's Plan 2030 Iceberg
By "Greener NY", Bloomberg apparently means money. The Plan 2030 is an envisionment of restructuring New York as a Metropolis of the rich and super-rich, with the poor and middle class pushed out, something that has been happening for decades now, and which may be called the Koch Plan, going back to the former mayor who felt that New York and particularly Manhattan was just too magnificent for average people, and issued wisecracks to that effect on many occasions. (CLICK)

Save P.S. 109-It's Basic Common Sense (Flyer handed out at public hearing July 11, 2007)(MS_Word) (HTML)
State Senator José Serrano presents himself as a great patron of the arts, and hosts arts workshops and roundtables, but still supports sacrificing kid's school space to real estate takeover artists. Download protest flyer (pdf) (CLICK)

"NYC Educator" Blog for Public Schools gives PS 109 a real plug. Page also includes opportunity for your comment. (CLICK) Facsimile also located locally: (CLICK)

Think PS 109 is the only example of war on the poor and middle class? Think again: This Oct. 25, 2006, NY Daily News column by Juan Gonzalez describes how billionaire Mayor Bloomberg reserves playspace exclusively for richer kids, now and for generations to come. (CLICK)

Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters, in summarization (CLICK) of her talk at our Oct. 23, 2006, Will of the People Forum, and publishes a statistical profile of projected class size. (CLICK)

Does Artspace PS109 takeover no-bid pass the sniff test?
"Hevesi Linked to PS 109 Construction Scam," headlines Urban Elephant.

Urban Elephant website documents family connection between El Barrio/East Harlem Operation Fightback honcho Gus Rosado and ex-Democratic District Leader Felix Rosado, who now works in Alan Hevesi's office of New York State Comptroller. The website suggests collusion between the Artspace's illegal, no bid takeover of PS 109 in the name of "artists' housing". (CLICK)

A private citizen takes on new Councilmember Melissa Mark Viverito, demanding she, along with her Gang of Four cohorts (Adam C. Powell IV, Charles Rangel and José Serrano) reverse their current stands and support P.S. 109's restoration as a school (CLICK)!

Town Meeting (July 18, 2006, at LaGuardia Memorial House, 307 E. 116 St.) for the expansion and improvement of schools explodes in the face of Adam Clayton Powell, IV, over P.S. 109! (CLICK)

Gang of Four (Mark-Viverito, Powell, Serrano, Rangel) (un)WANTED poster for Grand Theft of Public School (in Microsoft Word) (CLICK)! (May take several full minutes to download.)

MicroSoft Word and HTML Facsimile of leaflet Coalition to Save P.S. 109 challenging May 20, 2006, ArtSpace slideshow that was designed to "sell" conversion of P.S. 109 to "ArtSpace" and market rate housing. (CLICK)

East Harlem Coalition to Improve Our Public Schools Report of the Sub-Committee on Need for Space in School District #4 Public Schools, including a call for renovation and reuse as a school P.S. 109 (June 2001) (CLICK). (Presentation in development)

It has been said that the great genius of school architecture, CBJ Snyder, was inspired by the hotel architecture he saw on his travels in Europe. Could this Paris hotel, found as a cover image in a commercial notebook, be the particular one which caught and fired up his imagination? (Click photo to enlarge. Be patient, it may take several minutes to load.)
Hotel in France
Hotel De Cluny, Paris.
Thomas Shotter Boys, British
Color Lithograph, 1839

Gotham Gazette on Charter Schools: Gotham Gazette, Nov. 14, 2005. CLICK

Preservation of Historic Schools Gains International Prominence: April 19th is Historic Schools Day

Council of Educational Facility Planners, International introduces A Primer for the Renovation/Rehabilitation of Older and Historic Schools and Schools for Successful Communities: An Element of Smart Growth
Washington, D.C. (April 18, 2005)



NYC Educator: The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on.-Joseph Heller. Blog commentary on the deplorable state of schools, how the establishment is making things worse, and what we can do and are doing to fight back successfully. (CLICK

Class Size Matters: Fighting for smaller class sizes and adequate school space. CLICK

Community Education Council #4: CLICK

New York Landmarks Conservancy (CLICK)

Community District Education Councils: CLICK

Association of New York City Education Councils: CLICK

East Harlem News on East Harlem Coalition to Improve Our Public Schools (CLICK)

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Coalition to Save PS 109
152 East 100th Street
Suite 5E
New York, NY 10029
Phone: 212-534-0963