Those who have protested against higher rents, or to preserve New York City’s architecture and heritage, likely crossed paths with Judy Richheimer.

A resident of Chelsea for more than 40 years — she was often quoted as saying, “I was Chelsea before Chelsea was cool” — she was an officer of the local Democratic Club, and a staunch preservationist.

“Whenever there was testimony to be given to prevent the landmarks commission from watering down the law, or to prevent the real estate industry from unfairly increasing rent, there was she,” said Michael Adams, Richheimer’s friend of 25 years.

Judy Richheimer died on March 24 of complications from the new coronavirus, after being hospitalized for four days. She was 70 years old.

Adams described her as “feisty, glamorous, passionate, and articulate,” and a “firebrand” who loved everything about New York.

Richheimer protested for tenants’ rights and universal health care, and she successfully fought a battle to landmark Riverside Church.

She wrote for her local newspaper, The Chelsea Community News, and gave guided tours of the neighborhood and city she loved.

Everyday New Yorkers and elected officials, such as City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Rep. Jerry Nadler, took to social media to mourn her passing and pay tribute to her life.

“I’ll miss Judy’s intelligence, wry sense of humor, and ability to poke fun at everything, including herself,” said State Sen. Brad Hoylman of Manhattan.



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