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Aladdin Shelter Tour

posted Mar 19, 2013, 7:21 AM by David Stuart   [ updated Mar 19, 2013, 10:03 AM ]

On Thursday, March 14th leaders of the 45th St. Block Association were taken on a tour of the Aladdin Hotel. We met with Harriet Sedgwick who is taking over Michaela Miller's position as the Community Liaison from Christine Quinn's office. We requested this tour over six months ago and it finally happened.

In summer 2012 the Aladdin lobby was messy, needed a paint job and security was lax. At that time we were told that the elevator was broken, there were no facilities for clients to prepare food, or to wash clothes, the bathrooms needed repairs, there was no A/C or fans in rooms and no place for clients to go on hot summer days except to hang out on the street or stay in their stifling rooms. 

Much has been done since then. A new front door has been put in, there is a new security guard desk and monitored security cameras have been installed throughout the building. The lobby has new flooring extending into the hallways, and the elevator (with a security camera inside) is new and working. The interior of the building has been newly painted and appears clean. We were taken to the basement where a new laundry room has been installed with new washers and dryers that are reasonably priced for residents. Small microwave ovens have been installed on each floor, and some of the bathrooms have been renovated. Small window fans have been installed in each room, although we did not see the inside of any of the rooms because there were no vacancies and we could not invade the privacy of the clients.

We then went to the old Triton Gallery where we visited the back patio. This used to be used as a garbage dump--it has been cleaned up with new cement tiling installed, and we were told the patio would be ready for use by the clients in the spring. We discussed patio schedule and use to minimize disturbance to neighbors. These are all positive steps and we will see how all this affects the neighborhood in the months to come.

We are encouraged by these changes, which have come about as a direct result of community pressure on Aladdin owners and political leaders. There is still much to do to ensure quality of life and safety concerns are addressed, improvements are maintained and expanded upon. We will stay on top of it and continue to report here.