A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Prof. Gates "Mugs"...New Yorkers

Jack Kemp

While riding the subway into Manhattan today, I read a New York article about why New York University gave Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. a "cheap apartment."
Some of the lowlights were:


For years, New York University has leased a luxury flat in Chelsea to famous academic Henry Louis Gates Jr. at a deeply discounted rate despite the fact that Gates teaches at Harvard — not NYU.

The steep markdown on the posh faculty pad, likely worth thousands of dollars a month, was arranged by NYU President John Sexton, who has come under fire for helping the school’s star professors and administrators buy lavish vacation homes...

Gates admitted to the The Post that he has long received his pricey housing perk even though he has never held a job at NYU. Instead, Gates said he has an informal "consultancy” with Sexton that is ungoverned by a written contract...

Gates also suggested that Sexton bestowed the apartment on him as part of an unconventional — and thus far unsuccessful — courting ritual that has dragged on for more than a decade...

Insiders said two-bedroom apartments in the tower, which boasts a fitness center, outdoor terraces and a 24-hour doorman, are heavily subsidized for NYU faculty, renting for as little as $2,200 a month.

By comparison, a two-bedroom apartment in the adjacent building at 130 W. 15th St., developed in 2002 by Related Cos. in tandem with the NYU tower, is currently being offered at $9,195 a month...

The building was erected in 2002 on the site of the former New York State Armory to address a faculty housing shortage, according to NYU documents.


Yes, this is the famous Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. who claimed his attempt to enter his house in Cambridge, MA, without a key resulted in a "racist" arrest, a situation which lead to the famous "Beer Summit" at the White House in Obama's first term.

I was intrigued by this situation, and in my reading had glanced over the words about this building being the former site of a NY State Armory. And since I happened to be heading near 120 W. 15th Street, I went by the building. The fact that the "NYU tower" described in the Post article is mostly five stories tall. Land is expensive and most new buildings in Manhattan are high rises because of that. It looked somewhat like the nearby recently closed St. Vincent's Hospital complex caused me to ask a building worker if this were part of that former hospital. He said no, that was nearby. But my curiosity pressed me to further say that it looked like a former institutional building (with a lobby like a hospital's). The employee told me that this site had once been the home of a military Armory, just as the Post stated. I suspect the current building with its unusual white horizontal "striping," erected in 2002, was laid out so that it could be sold or used as a business or a residence. The layout strongly resembles that of a health insurance office site, as well. In fact, to save the reader a trip to New York (Prof. Gates won't likely let you stay at his place there), if one goes to Google Maps the building can be seen on the internet at:,-73.997...!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x89c259bd7187c51f:0xb4fa735d5a132c9a

So what do we have here? A piece of land that was donated by either the State of New York or the federal government, holding an upscale apartment complex which has a subsidy for New York University professors - as in tax subsidy, also NY State and federal. NYU is a private college (with federal government subsidies), so the average full tuition paying student - or more likely their parents - are subsidizing a nationally known professor and author's home away from home on his visits to New York City.

Prof. Gates was concerned about a policeman in Cambridge who mistook him for a thief in the night. Granted, it was the New York University President John Sexton who gave Gates this unearned luxury apartment, but Prof. Gates did not cry "elitism" when he received use of this residence that arguably he didn't earn.

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