NEW YORK - In January, a fire severely damaged a community and resource center in Chinatown that housed roughly 85,000 artifacts from the Museum of Chinese in America. Most of the artifacts were recovered after the fire. It also housed a dance studio, a job training site, and a senior center that provided some people their only meal of the day.
In the aftermath, Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed to rebuild or restore the building and return it to the community as it was, but now, a local activist says he is afraid they are being duped.
“He seems to have backtracked on his words again,” said Karlin Chan, a Chinatown community activist. “The city has funded $6 million to the demolition of the building, they have not funded a penny towards rebuilding or restoring the building.”
So far, three of the historic building’s five stories have been demolished, and now, activists and community members are planning a demonstration Saturday against further demolition.
FOX 5 NY reached out to the Mayor’s office for comment, which said that the city is not demolishing the entire building.
“There is ongoing public engagement that will soon be followed by a visioning process to allow the community to help shape the future of this site. The city maintains its commitment to rebuilding and welcome back all tenants,” the city said in a statement.