Kevin And Don Respond To Being Self Loathing

Looking back at their journey from the Stonewall Democratic Club to Log Cabin Republicans, they claim it was one that was actually started by the democrats. After being told that marriage as not a priority on the agenda in 1995, they became disillusioned with the DEMS. For a decade they felt like they did not belong until they met the republicans of the Log Cabin Republican Club and discovered they too shared a dream of marriage equality. This blog is now a digital time capsule of their time as Republicans and moderated by a friend and supporter.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The United States V. Oliver Morosco

Date unknown
Natural Resources Defense Council v. City of New York, 528 F. Supp. 1245 (S.D.N.Y. 1981), dismissed, 534 F. Supp. 279 (S.D.N.Y. 1982), aff'd, 672 F.2d 292 (2d Cir.), cert. dismissed, 456 U.S. 920 (1982).

Natural Resources Defense Council v. City of New York (1982) 672 F.2d 292 [FOR TEXT]

The city of New York proposed to demolish two theaters‹the Helen Hayes and the Morosco‹to make way for a hotel project funded by a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) urban development action grant. The Helen Hayes Theater had been determined to be eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Therefore the city, acting as the "Federal agency" through operation of the Housing and Community Development Act, requested the comments of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, submitted a preliminary case report, and initiated the consultation process as required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the Council's regulations implementing Section 106 of NHPA. The city, the Council, and the New York State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the Helen Hayes Theater in 1978. The city also prepared an environmental impact statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act.
During the pendency of the litigation, the question of the eligibility for the Register of the Morosco Theater and other properties was submitted to the Secretary of the Interior. The litigants agreed that if the Secretary determined that the properties were eligible for the Register, they would not object to an expedited Council review of the project with respect to these properties. When the Secretary determined that the Morosco Theater was eligible, the city sought expedited review by the Council, and as a result the city, the Council, and the State Historic Preservation Officer entered into a second MOA in late 1981, after a consultation that lasted only a few days. During this consultation, the Chairman of the Council received a telephone call from a high-level aide to the President who expressed his support for the project.

Plaintiffs contended that the Helen Hayes Theater could not be demolished until all the stipulations in the MOA had been satisfied. The court rejected this argument, noting that execution of the MOA, together with HUD's preliminary approval of the project, permitted demolition to begin in full accordance with NHPA. 528 F. Supp. at 1249.

Second, the court rejected plaintiffs' claims that defendants violated NHPA by failing to request the Secretary of the Interior to determine the eligibility of the entire theater district and thereby failing to seek Council comment on the district as a whole. The court held that no violation occurred because the city and the SHPO had made a good faith decision that no grounds existed for consideration of the eligibility of the district, a decision in accordance with the Council's regulations at 36 C.F.R. § 800.4(a)(3). Id.; 672 F.2d at 299.

Third, plaintiffs contended that the expedited Council review of the Morosco Theater violated the Council's regulations because of the haste in which it was conducted, that a provision in the MOA requiring the city to consider further alternatives was illegal, and that the entire process was arbitrary and capricious. The court rejected these arguments because the litigants had agreed to expedited review, the Council had followed all relevant procedures in its regulations, and the Council had considered all the relevant information. 528 F. Supp. at 1252-53; 672 F.2d at 298.

Next, plaintiffs claimed that a supplemental EIS was required because the Morosco Theater had been determined eligible after the city had issued the final EIS. The court rejected this claim as well, noting that a supplemental EIS is not necessary when the final EIS is adequate and no new significant information has come to light. The designation of the Morosco as eligible for the National Register did not qualify as significant information mandating the preparation of a supplemental EIS. 528 F. Supp. at 1254; 672 F.2d at 297-98.

The district court granted summary judgment to defendants on all claims but one‹plaintiffs' allegation that the Council had succumbed to undue political pressure in the Morosco Theater consultation process‹although the court rejected this claim in a later opinion. In the second opinion, the court examined the record and found that there did not exist the sort of threats and extraneous pressure necessary to sustain plaintiffs' claim. 524 F. Supp. at 281. Rather, the evidence showed that the Council had considered the Morosco Theater and reached its decision untainted by White House pressure. 534 F. Supp. at 282-83; 672 F.2d at 299-300.

The Second Circuit affirmed the district court on all counts. 672 F.2d at 292.

REALITY CHECK THIS IS A QUOTE FROM THE CASE
Appellants contend that the Memorandum of Agreement covering the Helen Hayes Theatre contained an "implicit condition" that the demolition of the Theatre would be justified only if there was a reasonable expectation that the project would be constructed. Relying on Portman's expressed fears concerning the possible withdrawal of financial commitments, appellants contend that it would be a clear violation of this Memorandum of Agreement to permit demolition. The fears which Portman expressed were based upon the continued harassment and delay resulting from appellants' litigation. It comes with ill grace for appellants to now urge this same delay as grounds for halting the project. Appellants have made no showing that the project will not move ahead rapidly once appellants are no longer able to enjoin such progress.

REALITY CHECK: THE FINANCING WAS NOT IN PLACE FOR SEVERAL MONTHS. IN FACT, PORTMAN HAD TO DELAY PURCHASING THE HOTEL PICCADILLY DUE TO FINANCING CONCERNS.

REALITY CHECK
THE CASE STATED: "Three pages of the Environmental Impact Statement were devoted to a description of the Morosco Theater and its history." But it never analyzed the loss of a significant historic structure meaning one that was a historically designated building. The wrecking ball, with the Court's approval, struct on March 22, 1981 without ever analyzing how the loss of historic landmarks would effect the area.

REALITY CHECK
I was employed by The Shuberts in the 1980s. The had a history with The Morosco. In 1905, the father of Broadway, and what many consider, the soul of Broadway died. He died shortly after declaring war on The Theater Syndicate. The Theater Syndicate had a grasp on New York and would not allow others to run theaters. Sam, at age 20, stood up to them. Five hears later he died in a train accident at 27. He launched a war with the 19th Century Model of cartels or syndicates. Sam envisioned a Theater Monopoly, similar to the various industrial monopolies of the day. Sam was and is a Titan of industry, The Industry of Theater and perhaps Entertainment itself. Surely his is the Guardian Angels of Broadway.
In 1915, ten years after Sam's death, the remaining Shubert brothers built a theater to commorate the beginning of the end of the war that Sam had started. This monument to theater and the soul of Broadway, was built by Herbert Krapp, and was named after one of the Shubert's trusty managers, Oliver Morosco. It stood as a testiment to the dream that Sam had envisioned. It was a place that seemed more like Sam Shubert than the Sam S. Shubert Theater itself. however, The Shuberts lost the Morosco in the great Depression and never seemed that interested in requiring it. This is surprising considering the historical significance the theater played in their history.
When plans were announced in the early 1970s to raze the Morosco, the Shuberts, now run by their lawyers, Gerald Schoenfeld and Bernie Jacobs, barely raised an eye.
In the 1980s i worked for the Shuberts amnd boy was i disillusioned. I imagined going to work for theater history plus a creative thriving business. I expected a business that carried on the traditions of Sam or as Don and i call him Sammy.
Sadly, my time at the Shuberts was not what i expected. Yes, I did manage to get someone to give me some old stuff from the archives prior to it being sent to a landfill in New Jersey. i got a treasure trove that i will reveal at a later date. Bt now I want to express this feeling of dread about my impressions concerning Bernie and Gerry and The Morosco.
The Shuberts did not have a modern house on Broadway like the Minskoff or Gershwin. The had their eyes set on a long term lease with who ever was going to run the John Portman Leviathan.
I could feel that they would rather let a monument to Sam Shubert perish for their greed. It is the way they did business and if you were gay, well,they made you feel like your sexuality did not exist. If one was gay at The Shuberts in the 1980, you constantly felt like you had to use caution because you feared retaliation for whatever you might have done and you really trusted no one. i mean you really could not even ask if someone was gay, even if they were, because it would get around that you were causing trouble.
it was nonsense but it was the mentality that i see as being destructive to the Broadway community.
Bernie and Gerry, by being on the wrong side of history, seriously wounded Broadway.
I believe the Angels Left new York in 1982 and the after effects of the plague that raged afterwards, convinced Don and myself that the Soul of Broadway left and corporate greed was moving in spearheaded by Bernie and Gerry.
We realized that it was time to leave.
With my new found passion of trying to understand the case that i cited above, I went to Law School while Don took up planning with an unrelenting vigor. He earned a Masters in urban Planning at The Wagner School at new York University.
On our drive out to California, we discussed how EIRs worked along with other land use policies and regulations.
As we drove out we listened to a tape I made of songs about California. We started with "California Here I Come" by the I Love Lucy Cast, and then the song that followed nearly stopped us before we even exited the Garden State. The song was "It's Always Orange Day in California". It was the finale of the first musical that played The Morosco Theater on February 5, 1917.

UPDATE 2010 THE SONG IS NOW ON YOUTUBE