NYU’s Alicia Hurley Commits Urban Rape: The Provincetown Playhouse’s Hole Grows

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Provincetown IIAccording to Curbed.com, not only are the walls of the Provincetown Playhouse — which New York University’s liar-in-chief, Alicia Hurley, promised to preserve — fatally and forever compromised, but the hole in the side of the structure is inexplicably growing:

Here’s what Curbed published today:

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The hole in the side of MacDougal Street’s Provincetown Playhouse is growing almost as fast as the anger directed at NYU, which pledged to preserve the shell of the historic theater while it builds a new academic building around it. Word came a few weeks back that a section of wall was demolished without a head’s up from NYU officials, though the pictures of a couple punctures didn’t seem all that bad. Now The Villager and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (warning: PDF) have returned to the scene of the crime, and Mr. Gorbachev, they sure did tear down that wall. NYU sent a sacrificial lamb to a meeting of the Task Force on New York University Development (yep, that exists), and the task force members weren’t shy about sounding off. Said one, “If they could move the Temple of Dendur from Egypt to the Metropolitan Museum, I dont see why N.Y.U. couldn’t preserve four walls of a 90-year-old theater in a project across the street from its law school.”…

The sacrificial lamb was Alicia Hurley, NYU’s inept vice president for government and community engagement. Let us recall that it was also Hurley who, when the story broke of the damage being done to the structure, said that her office took “full responsibility” for the situation. It really seems like she’s keeping her word on that.

Or let’s just put it even more simply: Alicia Hurley a fraud, a menace and a disgrace. Per Curbed, organizations like the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation are supposedly furious about the situation, but let’s place that in a simple context, too: What is Andrew Berman, GVSHP’s executive director, really doing for the situation? Generating more PDFs? Asking more people to write letters? How effective have these efforts been to date? And to think that this fellow, who I used to be very friendly with, turned out to be more jazzed by castigating me for using his name without asking permission in a blogpost months ago than acting like advocate for holding NYU – and especially Hurley – truly responsible for this mess, is inescapably sad.

As I have said many times, I am ashamed of my alma mater. Totally ashamed.

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Here is The Villager’s coverage of the situation. Notice Berman’s softball complaints and Hurley’s — well, you’ll notice not a single quote from her. What’s that about?

I would like to add that I do admire Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s determination to address this:

“I expect N.Y.U. to live up to every promise it made,” he said. “I have enormous respect for [N.Y.U.] President John Sexton and for the community leaders who fought N.Y.U. for years. But when N.Y.U. makes a mistake, my role is to protect the interests of the community.”

Stringer said he was upset not only that N.Y.U. failed to let the task force and C.B. 2 know about the breach in the Provincetown Playhouse wall for about three weeks, but that the trust between N.Y.U. and the Village community that the task force has developed over the past three years was compromised.

“The mistake was made and N.Y.U. will have to work hard to regain the community’s goodwill,” Stringer said.

But what exactly could NYU do to regain the community’s goodwill? This is also more than just a community matter — the Provincetown Playhouse, as Stringer well knows, is a sacred icon of the American theater. Why is Stringer unable to consider ways to punish — yes, punish — NYU for repeatedly lying to the public? Who would argue if, for example, Stringer proposed forcing NYU to pay substantial fines to the community? What if those funds underwrote the work of small nonprofit theaters? What if NYU were forced no longer to dissemble regarding how a post-construction Provincetown Playhouse were to be used, and legally agreed to allow nonprofit theaters to rent it at NYU-subsidized rates? We know without question that Stringer is a champion of the nonprofit theater in New York. He’s widely and duly admired for taking such a stance. Here’s a moment when he can easily step up on behalf of those whose voices go unheard. Will he seize it?

As for Hurley, finally, what a disaster. If you think she should resign her position, email her at alicia.hurley@nyu.edu. Her title shouldn’t be “Vice President for Government and Community Engagement.”

It should be “Vice President for Urban Rape.” Call Hurley at 212-998-6859 if you think she should step down.