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An Open Letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo

Updated on May 2, 2019
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Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years.

Introduction

Dear Governor Cuomo,

My name is Jack Lee, a citizen of the State of NY for over 50 years. I want to bring your attention to an important matter. I am hoping your office will be able to help. This problem has been around for over 40 years. It has only came to my attention recently. Hence, this letter which is copied and sent to the mayor of NYC and the Chancellor of CUNY and the President of CCNY, my alma mater.

- May 2019

The Alumni House - Hamilton Heights, Manhattan, NYC, New York

Suppose I was to inform you that there exist a brown stone over 100 years old that is abandoned and boarded up for 40 plus years. And suppose I tell you this building sits on a prime location in the heart of Harlem NYC. Suppose I also tell you it is owned by none other than the State of New York. Would you be surprised, or shocked, or angry or just complacent. So what else is new?

Her is the fact as I was able to ascertain.

The building shown in the above photo, sits on the corner of 141 street and Convent Ave. It is one block from the campus of CCNY. It is located in the historic district of Hamilton Heights. At one time, this building was the private residence of the President of the College. At one point, the building was the office of the Alumni Association, hence the name “Alumni House”. In the 1970s it was used as a student financial aid office. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed the inner guts of the building. It has been boarded up ever since.

There were various attempt to restore this building over the years but none have succeeded for a variety of reasons. It was forgotten and given very low priority.

It is a shame that such a historic building in a prime location cannot be made more useful than collecting dust and deteriorating before our eyes.

The cost of renovation has escalated over the years. Due to zone laws, the building would require an additional entrance to satisfy current building codes.

I have reached out to several individuals including personnel at the College to obtain the background information.

The current status is bleak. Due to financial constraints at the college, and various objections raised by the local zoning boards, and the various bureaucratic agencies involved, the future of this building is in limbo.

I am writing you as a last resort. I don’t have any idea how to proceed. All I know is that this historic building deserves to be restored and be occupied.

Please help in getting this project back on track.

Sincerely,

Jack C. Lee

Class of 1974

Current Board member of the Asian Alumni Group

cc:

The honorable Mayor of NYC Bill de Blasio.

The Chancellor of CUNY - Felix V. Mateo Rodriquez

The President of CCNY - Vincent Boudreau

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Jack Lee

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