NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It is one of the most breathtaking views in the Tri-State Area: the stretch of undeveloped cliffs along Palisades Parkway next to the Hudson River. But residents on both sides of the river are worried about plans to build an office tower that will rise above the tree line.
Rising from the mighty Hudson, the Palisades are timeless, and for that you can thank one man: John D. Rockefeller.
When he built the Cloisters museum in northern Manhattan in the 1930s, he wanted to preserve the vista across the river as well.
Rockefeller bought 700 acres of New Jersey along the Hudson, so that the people at the Cloisters would still have the feeling of being in a medieval world even when they looked out at the river.
He donated the property to the State of New Jersey, with clear stipulations to protect its unique quality.
But Korean electronics giant LG, which already has a building on Rt. 9W just west of the Palisades, now plans to build a 143-foot tall headquarters that will rise high above the tree line.
Even regular folks like Hannah Feuer, who has enjoyed the view for years, are concerned.
“I think it would definitely change the effect of what you see right now,” Feuer told CBS 2’s Don Dahler.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art owns the Cloisters and wants LG to reconsider.
“We just hope that more medieval heads prevail in the end,” said the museum’s Harold Holzer. “Obviously it’s going to be difficult and challenging for anyone to go back to the drawing board, literally, and create a more horizontal headquarters. We hope it’s done.”
LG didn’t respond to CBS 2’s request for a statement, but a spokesman told the New York Times, “We’re listening to their concerns. We are very proud of this project.”
Numerous entities are suing LG to prevent the construction of buildings like the ones in Edgewater and Ft. Lee, which have changed the iconic view of the Palisades forever.
There is some optimism, though, that the company will ultimately see the light.
That area was previously zoned for a maximum of 35-foot high buildings, but a variance was recently awarded which raised the legal height requirements. That decision is being challenged in State Superior Court.
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