“I would like them to make their presentation. Then we ask questions. Only clarifying questions about things you don’t understand…. I’m sorry we keep interrupting you. You have a very nice presentation here.”
“That’s OK,” the architect says, “I’m here to answer your questions.”
“No, it’s not OK,” the kind looking woman beside me said sarcastically.
The building on 12th Street is a landmark, protected so the front must be kept the same. The new owners want to raise the roof four feet, add air conditioners and make the elevator bulkhead six feet larger.
They also want to excavate a large basement (“to add a theater.”) The crowd hisses.
Our neighbors were pleased to see us there, though in all honesty the changes and construction probably won’t affect us much. It was nice to support the people in our building. And I started to understand that this had less to do with actually stopping the construction and more to do with making sure it was done properly—the minimum intrusion possible.
But, it was a guy in another building who summed up the issue at the heart of the matter.
“These are going to be our neighbors. We all live in the neighborhood. Do you live in the neighborhood?” He said to the lawyer.
“That’s not really relevant.”
“I’m certain you do not. So why am I having this conversation with you and your team of experts and not my new neighbor?”