It was a beautiful day in the Bronx, where elected officials and environmental and civic groups from New Jersey and New York held a press conference to raise awareness about LG Electronic’s plan to build a 143-foot headquarters over the historic Palisades Park.
This building, if constructed, would rise well above the treeline of the Palisades, scarring an iconic landscape that has been preserved for more than a century.
The Palisades cliffs from the College of Mount Saint Vincent (Photo credit: Paulina Muratore)
Standing with the pristine Palisades cliffs as a backdrop, State Senator Jeffrey Klein, U.S. Congressman Eliot Engel and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz called for LG Electronics to lower the height of their high-rise headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
Community Board leaders and representatives of a coalition to Protect the Palisades -- of which NRDC is helping to spearhead -- also spoke out at the press event.
A glass building on the cliffs would also set the precedent for similar development sweeping north of the George Washington Bridge along the Hudson River.
“Erecting a building that will tower above the treetops will set an irreversible course for the permanent destruction of the Palisades,” Senator Klein said. “If we allow one, many will follow. Today we stand together in defense of what is, in many ways, defenseless.”
State Senator Jeffrey Klein (Photo credit: Paulina Muratore)
The press conference was called in the wake of last week’s decision by a lower court New Jersey state judge to uphold a local “variance” given to LG to erect its 143-foot building. This variance, approved last year by Englewood Cliffs, authorized the corporation to side step the 35-foot limit that has been followed for a century – until now. Scenic Hudson and other plaintiffs in this litigation have vowed to appeal this ruling.
Simulated view from the George Washington Bridge (Technical rendering by Saratoga Associates)
All of the speakers at the press conference, emphasized the stunning beauty of the cliffs.
And Hayley Carlock, an attorney with Scenic Hudson, nicely framed the controversy: “Because of their unique geology and extraordinary natural beauty in an otherwise urban setting, the Palisades are both a National Historic Site and a National Natural Landmark. LG’s 27-acre site provides ample space for a lower-profile building that would supply the same number of jobs and tax benefits as the current design while respecting the integrity of the majestic Palisades.”
So the question remains: why so high, LG?