August 3, 2011
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science
51 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003
Dear Ms. Westcott;
While Cooper Union is a valued member of the community, the question of its special tax
treatment regarding its commercial real estate holdings has generated concern in the past.
The institution’s ability to provide a full tuition remission to its students is a valuable tool in
attracting the best students. Although the initial goal may have been to educate students from
the New York area, the changing mission of the institution has led to New York City taxpayers
essentially subsidizing students from places like Pennsylvania, or Texas or Alabama.
In the sweep of the past many years, much has been given to Cooper Union and Cooper Union
has been a good neighbor in many respects in return. Now there is an opportunity for a modest
but significant way for Cooper Union to assist the community in retaining another important
institution, the Saint Marks bookstore.
St. Mark’s is currently struggling to pay the market rent that Cooper Union is charging them at 31 Third
Avenue and assistance by Cooper Union could save this irreplaceable neighborhood institution. Given Cooper
Unions’ real estate investments, including the soon to be redeveloped 51 Astor Place as a fully commercial
building, I believe that a rent concession to St. Mark’s Bookshop would not constitute a large burden.
Furthermore, you would be greatly contributing to the artistic and community spirit of the neighborhood of
which you are part. Please do the right thing and help St. Mark’s Bookshop. The community would greatly
appreciate your contribution by helping to maintain this longstanding neighborhood business.
Deborah J. Glick