Ithaca City’s destruction of Pyramid Recording Studio
https://www.facebook.com/events/335143496522126/ (for comments and more info)
From Jeff Claus:
To all who are following this situation/crisis, and care deeply about the fair and ethical treatment of Pyramid as an important local business and Alex as an owner, please read all of this post and communicate directly and as soon as possible with Mayor Svante Myrick and other important city officials. Things are very much down to the wire now, and despite a meeting last week between Alex and Svante Myrick, which we all hoped would go well, there is no clear indication the city is working to achieve thoughtful, respectful resolution based on an understanding of the quality of the Pyramid facility and its value, financially or otherwise. The city is currently threatening to officially condemn the building even though the building’s condition would not be condemnable if it were not for the bridge project. I want to stress, especially for those here who know nothing of the nature of the recording facility that sits inside the building, this is in no way a condemnable building! It’s also important to note that if the building is officially condemned, no one, including Alex, will be able to enter the building, despite the many hundreds of thousands of dollars of valuable equipment inside.
There is a meeting tomorrow morning (Monday) that will include attorneys, engineers, Alex, and, maybe, the mayor. It’s my understanding that various parties in the situation will be represented, including the city, the contractor hired to do the bridge project, and Alex/Pyramid. It isn’t clear the mayor will be there, but he should be.
One thing we can do between now and then is to communicate with Mayor Svante Myrick and other city officials that we expect a thoughtful, fair, ethical resolution of this situation. Thus, I urge people to write or call the mayor to communicate this, and I urge that all communication be mature and respectful.
A few points I’d like to make: While the history of recordings made at Pyramid is notable and glorious, from my perspective the main point here is that this is an important, active recording facility with incredible equipment and expertise. A substantial recording project is fully underway there right now, for example, and there are 4-5 more coming up in the next few months. The key issue is that an important local, successful, highly professional business needs to be treated with genuine respect and financial concern. I just keep thinking the mayor and others don’t really understand what the studio is, and how complicated and expensive it would be to relocate it. The studio is, essentially, a building built inside a building, completely suspended, sound proofed, and isolated from the exterior. It’s perfectly silent inside, and it’s specifically and architecturally engineered and designed for recording (i.e., there are no parallel surfaces inside, etc.). It would cost about $750 a square foot to rebuild the studio to its current design, and this does not address the cost of the exterior building or the property. In addition, the facility houses very valuable, and in many cases rare, equipment found in only the best studios in the country. In the Northeast, to work in a comparable studio would require traveling to NYC, Woodstock, Philadelphia, or Boston and paying higher rates as well as expenses for accommodations and food. People come to Pyramid literally from all over the world to record, and all types of music get recorded there from rock to classical, jazz, hip hop, metal, folk, and more.
If things go badly from this point, this situation could become one much worse even than eminent domain. In eminent domain, property owners are compensated for an assessed value of their property. It’s rarely fair, but at least there’s a legal responsibility to recognize the loss of those displaced. In this situation, at this point, there seems to be a lack of genuine and creative effort to make things right. We need creative collaboration and negotiation that works to achieve ethical resolution. I voted enthusiastically for Svante Myrick, with an expectation of progressive, honorable, creative leadership and politics, and I think this situation begs for exactly that.
You may contact the mayor at:
Or, you may go to his Facebook page and write him a personal message there.
I will try to post again sometime tomorrow, after the morning meeting, if and as I have information. Until then, please spend what time you care to devote to this, writing to or calling the Mayor. Posting some of the key points you think we should make to the mayor may also be helpful, but debating here seems a waste of time and energy.
Please spread the word that we need as many people as possible to email/call the mayor ASAP! And, thank you for your help!!
Note: Ithaca College email is down for the weekend, should be back up Monday 6.11.2012