I read with interest the letter from Robin Bloomgarden (“No More Glitzy Tourist Traps,” Letters 1/12) about increasing the number of floors allowed on 5th and 6th avenues As an incomer (from the United Kingdom 28 years ago) it has always amazed me that the majority of stores in almost all U.S. cities are only one story high. In almost every village, town and city in Europe, this is considered a major waste of space.
If you want an urban community to flourish you need living accommodations above the main shopping arteries. Why are there no apartments above every store on every shopping street? If people live here they will eat and shop here. I’m not talking about high-rise student living towers, I mean real individual and small family homes.
If you believe the center is a dead zone, it is because it was designed that way by modern city planners.
Oh yes, and, for the record, what heritage are you referring to? There may be the odd building older than 50 years, but the rest is far from historic unless you have a thing for the 1960s.