Defending Historic Preservation in New York City

Bancroft DestructionThe demolition of The Bancroft Building

Although community advocates have achieved some big successes in recent years gaining long-sought landmark designations and thwarting (or at least modifying) destructive proposals to historic buildings, historic preservation as both a strategy and as a philosophy is under attack as never before. Emboldened by years of record growth, the Real Estate Board of New York, the principal lobbyist for organized real estate, has been relentless in its campaign to undermine the Landmarks Law and all community preservation efforts. They are accusing preservation efforts of driving up housing costs, endangering affordable housing, stopping job creation and economic growth, protecting worthless buildings and penalizing home and business owners with costly fees and delays. To hear them tell it, landmark designation will transform New York into a lifeless museum city with a “look but don’t touch” mentality. HDC feels that nothing could be further from the truth. REBNY even pursued a serious lobbying effort to transform and weaken the Landmarks Law through a series of bills which would transform how the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated and regulated historic properties. Through HDC’s mobilization of the preservation community, this specific effort was defeated but the threat to preservation laws and historic buildings is still very real.

Preservation practices empower communities, celebrate our history, drive economic growth and sustain development efforts. Preservation enhances our streetscapes, nurtures tourism, encourages investment and employs local labor. It is a popular, populist movement driven by regular New Yorkers who value their homes and their city. The Historic Districts Council works with community groups throughout the five boroughs on efforts to save, preserve and enhance the special character of New York’s historic neighborhoods. We work with communities from areas as different as the Upper West Side and Bedford-Stuyvesant on the shared goal of empowering the community to have a voice in determining their own future. These two communities are ones whose efforts we honored at the Grassroots Preservation Awards and whose successes have been targeted as “over-reaching” by the real estate lobby.

HDC will continue counter arguing REBNY as long as they continue to release studies based on lies  and misconceptions. The threat that REBNY faces to New Yorker’s is very real. Through HDC’s mobilization and education we have been able to keep the preservation community strong, but we will never be as loud as REBNY. We need all the support of our neighborhood partners, history lovers, and lovers of New York.

Additional Resources:

Preservation and Job Creation

Press

 

 HDC continues to vigilantly defend New York City’s Landmarks Law and promotes efforts to strengthen protections for historic buildings. This section will be updated regularly with current events regarding this issue.

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A list of HDC’s upcoming events as well as our annual programs, and breaking preservation news.

 

Events:

 

HDC is always busy, view our Past Events page to see what other evens we’ve held.

Programs:

  • 2015 Conference- Landmarks @ 50 Honoring Our Past Imagining Our Future

 

News:

Re:Neighborhood Values: NY Post, July 5, 2014

Demolition freeze may cover 80% of the city: Crains, April 14, 2014

The Historic Districts Council says the city’s historic districts are not to blame for the shortage of affordable housing: Daily News, February 26, 2014

Landlords take aim at rampant landmarking: Crains New York,July 11, 2013

Landmark advocates recall Alamo-like efforts: Chelsea Now, November 3, 2012

New York Landmark Status Misused, Says Group Preservationists say New York’s history under attack:Epoch Times, June 21, 2012

Preservationists Issue Rallying Cry, Prepare to Save Landmarks Law from Big Real Estate: New York Observer, June 14th, 2012

  • 11 bills 1 Day: The Threat to the Landmarks Law

Real Estate Bigs Ready Wrecking Ball for Landmarks Laws: Curbed, June 7, 2012

Historians blast landmarking bills; Comrie says LPC wants total control despite best interests of landowners: Queens Chronicle: May 8,2012

A Quiet War on Landmarks, or Fixing the Problems with the Preservation Commission?: New York Observer, May 2, 2012

LPC speaks out against controversial landmarks bills: The Real Deal  New York City Real Estate News, May 2, 2012

Proposed Bill a ‘Deliberate Attack’ on Landmarks Law, Opponents Say: DNAinfo, May 2, 2012

City Council About to Knee-cap Landmarks Preservation?: Curbed,  May 1, 2012

Preservationists upset about series of Landmarks bills to go before City Council: The Real Deal  New York City Real Estate News, May 01, 2012

  • Landmarks Lion 2012:

Preservationists roar approval of new ‘Lion’ Gratz: The Villager, November 15, 2012

Landmarks @ 50 Honoring Our Past Imagining Our Future- 2015 Conference Tours

Historic District Council

2015 Annual Preservation Conference Series

Landmarks at 50: Honoring Our Past, Imagining Our Future

March 2015

 

~Tour Locations will be sent to registered participants a week prior to the tour~

 

 

Brooklyn Army Terminal: A Public Institution Transformed

Saturday, March 7, 2015, 12PM

BAT-Atrium_Rail-Line

Once the largest military supply base in the United States, Sunset Park’s Brooklyn Army Terminal has transformed over the past 30 years from a campus of warehouses, offices, piers, and docks to a vibrant commercial hub, home to local artisans, manufacturers and cultural institutions. Designed by Cass Gilbert and completed in 1919, the Terminal’s Building B and its 52 acres of floor space was once the largest concrete structure in the world. Join guide Andrew Gustafson as we tour the massive complex, view the spectacular atrium of Building B and highlight the use, preservation and reuse of this former bustling hub of military industry as a new commercial center and part of the revitalized Brooklyn waterfront.

See photos from the tour here

 

East Harlem Histories

Saturday, March 14, 2015, 1PM

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As East Harlem, also known as “El Barrio” or “Spanish Harlem,” transitions into becoming known as “SpaHa,” this tour will focus on some of the neighborhood’s diverse cultural and ethnic past. Join urban historian Justin Ferate to view delightful architectural treasures and cultural landmarks reflecting the neighborhood’s varied histories –from recent years and from generations past. Over its long history, East Harlem has been home to Cuban, Italian, Puerto Rican, African American, Jewish, Irish, Dutch, English, German, Haitian, Dominican, West African, Salvadoran, Greek and Mexican cultures – among others. Each group has left imprints on the community, but some of East Harlem’s touchstones are potentially endangered in the current reinvention of the neighborhood. Discover handsome civic structures such as the rustic brownstone Park Avenue Viaduct, the impressive Harlem Courthouse and religious edifices  Learn of important cultural treasures, contemporary housing and vest-pocket parks created by Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project. View enterprises such as the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center. Learn of people associated with East Harlem such as Langston Hughes, Piri Thomas, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Vito Marcantonio, Paul Robeson, Fiorello LaGuardia, Manny Vega, Al Pacino, James de la Vega, and Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Friend- $10

General- $20

 

 

Village Institutions

Saturday, March 21, 2015, 11AM

Public Theater

Over the years, Greenwich Village has attracted an evolving roster of cultural and philanthropic organizations. Join architectural historian Matt Postal for a walking tour that considers the unique structures that these groups commissioned and ways in which these distinguished historic buildings have been thoughtfully adapted to contemporary purposes. Of particular interest will be the pioneering work of architect Giorgio Cavaglieri, who during the 1960s breathed new life into both the Astor Library (1853-81) and the Jefferson Market Courthouse (1874-77). Participants will learn about the history of these institutions and how specific structures have been preserved and re-imagined as schools, libraries, residences and performing art centers. Likely stops include Public School 16 (begun 1869), the Village Community Church (1847), the Mercantile Library (1890) and the original Whitney Museum of American Art (1838/1931).

Friend- $10

General- $20

 

Classical Culture at Carnegie Hall

Saturday, March 28, 2015 11AM

Carnegie

Skip the practice and get to Carnegie Hall with the Historic Districts Council! Arguably the most famous performance venue in the world, Carnegie Hall is an architectural gem inside and out. Designed by William Burnett Tuthill and completed in 1891, the building was funded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie as part of his massive cultural endeavors. Join Carnegie Hall historians to tour the heart of this cultural icon, the iconic Isaac Stern Auditorium, home to world class music since the 19th century and named after the famous violinist whose efforts worked to save the building from demolition in the 1960s. We will also peek into the beautiful and newly created Resnick Educational Wing, home to the Weill Music Institute’s diverse educational programming.

Friend- $10

General- $20

SOLD OUT

 

DUMBO and Fulton Ferry

Saturday, April 11, 2015, 11AM

5-7 Front street

When the Fulton Ferry Historic District was designated in 1977, the small district, with its 15 buildings of mostly low-scale commercial and residential structures, recognized not only classic mid-19th century architecture, but also the pivotal part this area played in the early development of Brooklyn. Exactly 30 years later in 2007, Fulton Ferry’s neighbor DUMBO was designated, recognizing one of New York City’s most significant surviving industrial waterfront neighborhood. In contrast to Fulton Ferry, DUMBO consists of over 90 buildings, most of which were heroically-proportioned manufacturing structures and warehouses, epitomizing the late-19th- and early-20th-century industrial character of the Brooklyn waterfront. Join HDC board member and Director of the DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance Doreen Gallo for a walking tour of these diverse adjacent neighborhoods and a discussion of the current battles to maintain their historic integrity.

Friend- $10

General- $20


2015 Conference Tour: DUMBO and Fulton Ferry



 

Preserving West Chelsea

Saturday April 18, 2015, 11AM

Auto showrooms  on West 26th Street2

Between 1970 and 2009, three small but significant historic districts were designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in West Chelsea.  Led by architectural historian Matt Postal, participants will walk through each district, tracing their shared history and evolution. While the Chelsea Historic District (and its extension) emphasized rows of fine-looking brick town houses and religious buildings that stood on property that was once owned by scholar and real estate developer Clement Clarke Moore, the later districts contain structures connected to the abolitionist movement and the Civil War, as well as the Hudson River’s evolution into a major mercantile center at the start of the 20th century. Highlights will include Cushman Row (1840), the General Theological Seminary (1838-1900), Empire Diner (1943), R.C. Williams Warehouse (1927-28), and a segment of the former New York Central Freight Railway (1929-34) now better known as the High Line.

Friend- $10

General- $20


2015 Conference Tour: Preserving West Chelsea



 

 

 Click here for information about the Keynote and Reception

 

and the Conference Panels 

 

 

The title “Landmarks at 50: Honoring Our Past, Imagining Our Future” was created by Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, Chair of the NYC Landmarks 50 Alliance, and is used with permission.

Support is provided in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional support is provided by City Councilmembers Margaret Chin, Inez Dickens, Matthieu Eugene, Daniel Garodnick, Vincent Gentile, Corey Johnson, Ben Kallos, Stephen Levin, Mark Levine, and Rosie Mendez.

Preservation School

Posted by on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 · 2 Comments 

School_JPG

Head back to school with HDC

The Historic Districts Council is pleased to present a series of classes that will illuminate the essentials of historic preservation. Whether you live in a historic district, sit on your local community board or just want to learn about the built environment of your city, these classes will provide a knowledge and vocabulary for historic preservation. Classes will cover the basics including an introduction to preservation, zoning and New York City building types. They will also instruct hands-on skills including how to read architectural drawings and how to research and photograph buildings.

 

 

Schedule of Classes

northside_president7 Monday

September 8, 2014

6:00 PM

Preservation 101

Join Tara Kelly, Executive Director of Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, for this introductory course on preservation — what is it, what tools are needed, and how you can get involved.

SOLD OUT

Click here to view the presentation

 

brooklyn-suburbs-nypl Wednesday

October 15, 2014

6:00 PM

Historic Building Research
Architectural Historian Gregory Dietrich will guide participants on research strategies and procedures, as well as important repositories and document types. Learn the basics of how to investigate the origins and stories behind historic properties.

SOLD OUT

Click here to view the presentation

realestate120709_rowhouse_560 Monday
November 10, 2014
6:00 PM

NYC Architectural Styles

This program will focus on common architectural styles found in New York City’s historic built environment. LPC staff members Oliva and Christopher Brazee will provide an overview of the city’s building types and distinguishing features.

SOLD OUT

 

incarnation-landmark-building-plaque Monday

December 8, 2014

6:00 PM

NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission and State/National Register of Historic Places Designation

Architectural Historian Kerri Culhane will discuss the process of designation by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission and the State and National Register of Historic Places, highlighting the benefits and differences between the two, as well as their usefulness as preservation mechanisms.

SOLD OUT

Click here to view the presentation

zh_height_factor Monday

February 9, 2015

6:00 PM

Zoning 101
Upzoning, downzoning, Floor Area Ratio, oh my! Participants will learn the basics of zoning vocabulary and policies. HDC board member, Hunter Armstrong will illuminate what zoning and changes in zoning regulations mean for your community’s historic built environment.

 

Click here to view the presentation

 

SunsetPark-8 Monday

March 9, 2015

6:00 PM

Architectural Photography
Join photographer and chair of the Sunset Park Landmarks Committee, Lynn Massimo, in this hands-on session about best practices in architectural photography. Learn tips and tricks for getting the best possible photograph of your building or neighborhood.

 

DKoepp_NYC_TH Monday
April 13, 2015
6:00 PM

Reading Architectural Drawings

Architectural drawings and renderings illustrate the often complicated design and construction plans for proposed building projects. Join architect Brendan Coburn to learn how to understand and evaluate the information that these documents present.

4416779971_5ac0d6a112_z Monday
May 11, 2015
6:00 PM

Building Materials
The buildings of New York City are constructed using a wide variety of materials: terra-cotta, brick, brownstone, concrete and much more. Join Dan Allen, preservation architect, to learn how these materials are employed, how to identify them, and “scratch the surface” on their maintenance and conservation.

 

 

Classes will take place at:

Neighborhood Preservation Center

232 East 11 Street

New York, NY 10003

6:00PM

Light refreshments to be served

Classes:

$10 each or $60 for all 8

Scholarships available

please contact Barbara Zay at bzay@hdc.org

Category: Featured · Tags:

Boak & Paris/Boak & Raad: New York Architects- A Book Talk by Annice Alt

Posted by on Monday, March 30, 2015 · Leave a Comment 

annice alt

Boak & Paris/Boak & Raad: New York Architects

A Book Talk by Annice Alt

 

This event is full

 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

6:30 pm

232 East 11th Street

 

 

 

 

At the height of the building boom in the 1920s, two young architects Russell Boak and Hyman Paris broke away from the very-busy Emery Roth firm. While the Crash of 1929 stopped most construction, they were still very active until 1932, the low point of the Depression. Work picked up for them again as they pioneered in the new Art Deco style. Christopher Gray has written that “Together the architects did two remarkable things: they survived and even prospered during the 1930s, when more established architects could not, and they developed an elegant model for the urbane but down-sized apartment building in Depression-era New York.” Boak & Paris also designed the landmarked movie theater, the Metro. Postwar, Russell Boak had a new partner Thomas Raad with whom he designed new apartment buildings in the Midcentury Modern style. Elihu Rose, whose firm Rose Associates gave them many commissions, considers that “Boak was an unsung architect who was incapable of doing a bad drawing, a bad design. No one is comparable. Boak just had taste, he had class.” Annice Alt will speak about the firm’s works, with an emphasis on those that are contributory to New York’s Historic Districts.

 

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Voices from the Neighborhood-Claudette Brady: Bedford Stuyvesant; Bedford Corners

Posted by on Saturday, March 28, 2015 · Leave a Comment 

 Voices from the Neighborhood

BROOKLYN

 

Claudette Brady: Bedford Stuyvesant; Bedford Corners Historic District (proposed) Interviewed October 20, 2010 by Susan Hopper, HDC board member.

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How did you get started with preservation?  I live on Hancock Street near Girls High School and Boys High School, both landmarked. I understand the landmarking process. The north side of Bed Stuy was lost in the 1970’s when they tore down tons of brownstones and built projects. So people on our block wanted to landmark and that is how I got started.  Crown Heights told us about Historic Districts Council in 2007.

How has the Historic Districts Council helped? HDC has helped in an all round advisory capacity, what strategies to use, what directions top go in. Everything they told us has been effective. HDC has been very responsive in terms of returning calls or coming out to meetings, and very helpful in editing letters to have the correct wording, whether to the Landmarks Preservation Commission or elected officials.  We did a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for the public and they reviewed it. Simeon Bankoff, executive director, and Frampton Tolbert, deputy director, came out to Saturday meetings and Frampton came to a meeting that was after hours just for our volunteer group.  When we originally started to work with HDC we knew they would come out to meetings or public hearings, but they have also come out to give us advice about where to go next.  I love their presentations, which are very solid and address the issues that people have, like the little old man who loved vinyl windows. There is nothing that we are not pleased about. I love them—love love love HDC!

HDC got us connected with the wider NYC preservation community.Frampton said to call others and we did.  We wanted to do a postcard mailing similar to what Landmarks West does, and we called and they helped us. HDC has put me in touch with other organizations that can help us along even though we are competing for LPC’s attention.  The preservation community has been unselfish!

 

What have you done with preservation and historic districting?  In 2008 we held our first meeting with residents of the proposed Bedford Corners District.  We have had nine community meetings since.  The Community Board 3 Landmarks Committee held a meeting for residents of the expanded Stuyvesant Height Historic District in 2009, which had been calendared in 1993 but not designated.   The Bedford Corners group also engaged all the elected officials in Bedford Stuyesant.  All are in support of landmark designation and all sent letters to Chairman Robert B. Tierney.   The Landmarks Preservation Commission re-surveyed Bedford Stuyvesant in the spring of 2010, a direct result of a postcard campaign by the residents as well as engagement by the elected officials and the community board.   During the fall of 2010 Councilmember Albert Vann worked with us to arrange a meeting with LPC, which was attended by him, community advocates and representatives from the community board.  At the meeting LPC agreed to move forward with the designation process using a phased approach starting with the Expanded Stuyvesant Heights Historic District.

Where are you now [September 2011] with historic districting?  LPC held the public hearing for the Expanded Stuyvesant Heights Historic District on August 2,2011.  The hearing was well attended and all testimony was in support of designation.  Councilmember Vann and Assembly Member Annette Robinson testified in person and Borough President Marty Markowitz and Senator Velmanette Montgomery sent representatives.

Most of the residents testifying were older long term residents ranging in age from 50 to 91.  A significant number of the people testifying were second- or third- generation Bed-Stuy residents, many of whom were born in the house they currently occupy.  The testimony was heartfelt.  The residents spoke about their homes as being an integral part of their lives.  They talked about raising their families and the struggles they encountered in their efforts to preserve the building and family life during the hard times in Bedford Stuyvesant.  At one point I was moved to tears by the testimonies and noticed that LPC commissioners were similarly affected, but kept their composure.

Our current goal is the designation of the Expanded Stuyvesant Heights Historic District and the calendaring of the Bedford Corners Historic District.  In conjunction with the community board and HDC, we are also working to educate the residents of the proposed Stuyvesant East, Stuyvesant West and Stuyvesant North Historic Districts which are included in LPC’s phased approach.  Long term we will expand our efforts engaging the residents in other areas of Bedford-Stuyvesant where there are several potential historic districts. During the 2010 survey LPC identified over 8,500 buildings they deemed landmark-worthy. The current proposed districts represent less than a quarter of these buildings.

Advice for other neighborhoods interested in an historic district? HDC would be the first place I would direct them.  When we first started, they set guidelines for us.  We were looking at landmarking only our blocks, and when we spoke to HDC they helped survey the neighborhood and our boundaries, using a map from LPC. Go to them to learn how to do this—they have guidelines and template for doing this. I bought HDC’s book! (Creating an Historic District:  A Guide for Neighborhoods)

Updates:

Visit the Bedford Corners Historic District website: http://www.bedfordstuyvesantsocietyforhistoricpreservation.org/News_and_Updates.html

The Bedford Stuyvesant community was chosen to be one of the Historic Districts Council’s Six to Celebrate: http://www.hdc.org/6tocelebrate2011.htm

Bedford was included in ‘Deserving but Not Designated’

http://hdc.org/hdc-across-nyc/brooklyn/deserving-designated/bedford

 

 

 

Category: Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, Featured · Tags: , , , , ,

Preservation in the News

Posted by on Friday, March 27, 2015 · 1 Comment 

 

‘Citywide Rezoning Plan Would Benefit Developers, Hurt Neighborhoods’

 

Gotham Gazette by Andrew Berman

The mayor’s ‘Zoning for Quality and Affordability’ plan is not without good points, and its stated goals are worthy of support. But substantial modifications are needed to protect neighborhood character and benefit average New Yorkers before it can live up to its lofty premise, and before it should be considered for adoption.

Click here to read the whole article

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‘Zoning Changes Made in Haste Makes For Bad Government’

 

Sixteen years ago, the Chelsea Plan became a reality. It took years of grinding effort to accomplish. The idea began with Rowena Doyel, founder of the Council of Chelsea Block Associations, and Ed Kirkland, Chair of Community Board 4’s Chelsea Planning and Preservation Committee (now called the Chelsea Land Use Committee), and the originator of the (now-disbanded) Landmarks Committee. Tom Duane, then a CB4 member and Co-chair with Kirkland, was tireless in his efforts to guide the Plan to success.

Click here to read the whole article

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‘Zoning Process Too Fast For CB4′

 

“This is a citywide initiative that is being rammed through with not enough time to make even the most basic consideration of what [the department] should be studying,” Compton said.

Click here to read the whole article

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Record $71.9 million spent on lobbying New York City officials in 2014: report

Power players are spending more cash than ever to influence city government officials through lobbying, a new city report shows.

Lobbyists brought in $71.9 million to target city government in 2014, a record high, according to the report by the city clerk’s office covering the first year since Mayor de Blasio and the new City Council took office.

Click here to read the whole article

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Woodlawn group fights for historical district status

News 12 Bronx

One Bronx neighborhood has made the Historic District Council’s “Six to Celebrate” list.

Woodlawn, which sits in the north central part of the borough, is full of history that many don’t know about. It’s an old neighborhood that started as a community as a direct result of Woodlawn Cemetery.

The group Women of Woodlawn is behind getting Woodlawn chosen for the “Six to Celebrate” program as it strives toward getting the neighborhood recognized for its rich history.

Click here to read the whole article and watch the video of the Women of Woodlawn being interviewed

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Op-Ed: No Tower on the Seaport

Strausmedia BY MARGARET CHIN AND GALE BREWER

The mayor said: “We are not embarking on a mission to build towering skyscrapers where they don’t belong. We have a duty to protect and preserve the culture and character of our neighborhoods, and we will do so.”

That’s exactly the point we’ve made in our forceful opposition to the inappropriate 494-foot residential tower that the Howard Hughes Corporation has proposed to build in the heart of the South Street Seaport, one of the city’s most uniquely historic areas. While we’re committed to revitalizing the neighborhood, it’s true that we have a duty to protect the historic fabric of the Seaport—a low-rise area ever since it became active three centuries ago—from this kind of irresponsible development proposal.

Chin is the City Council member representing District 1 in Lower Manhattan; Brewer is the Manhattan borough president.

Click here to read the whole article

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Next TREASURES OF NEW YORK to Mark 50th Anniversary of NYC Landmarks Law, 2/3

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Landmarks Law, the hour-long documentary Treasures of New York: The Landmarks Preservation Movement, premiering on Tuesday, February 3 at 7 p.m. on WLIW21 and Sunday, February 8 at 8 p.m. on THIRTEEN, will explore the history and the future of the wide-scale preservation efforts of New York City’s Landmark Commission to protect thousands of culturally and historically significant sites.

Click here to read the whole article

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Park Avenue Is About to Get Something It Hasn’t Seen in 40 Years

After decades in deep freeze, New York’s sacred avenue is about to get a new skyscraper

Bloomberg Business By 

he 893-foot (272-meter) tower will rise amid Manhattan’s biggest rush of skyscraper construction since the 1980s, with millions of square feet of offices in such projects as Hudson Yards on the far west side and the World Trade Center downtown. Levinson is building “on spec,” meaning without any tenants signed up. It’s a gamble on the staying power of today’s accelerating demand for space, and a practice that’s had a checkered history in the city, said Lawrence Longua, a retired real estate professor at New York University.

Click here to read the whole article

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Down the Block, Deep in the Stacks Nearly 30 Years of Documenting New York

New York Times By 

Michael Sterne, then the Real Estate editor of The New York Times, conceived of the Streetscapes column in 1986, and paid me the compliment of hiring me to write it. Now, with my final column, it may be appropriate to present an apologia for what I hoped to do, and what I have done.

Click here to read the whole article

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New York City Landmarks Panel’s Move Upsets Supporters—and Critics

Behind Commission Decision Are Almost 100 Tales of Potential Landmarks

Groups of school children gather a few times a week in front of Catherine and Alfredo De Vido’s 19th-century house on East 85th Street to start a tour about the history of immigrants in the Yorkville neighborhood.

The De Vidos were surprised to learn the city Landmarks Preservation Commission was planning to drop their rare Manhattan wood house from the list of potential landmarks, where it has been lingering since 1966.

Click here to read the whole article

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16 Stories o’ Condos Will Replace ‘Plain’ Little Flatiron Building

Curbed by Hana R. Alberts

Even the Historic Districts Council, which veers strongly to the preservation side of preservation vs. development, approved of the demolition, because the existing structure “appeared in pallor compared to the examples provided of the fanciful Ladies Mile-quality buildings in the district.”

Click here to read the whole article

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For a Student of the City, It’s Always New

Andrew S. Dolkart: A Chronicler of New York Old and New

New York Times By MATT A.V. CHABAN

If you’re curious about a particular building in New York, odds are that Andrew S. Dolkart knows something about it. Mr. Dolkart, the 62-year-old director of Columbia University’s Historic Preservation program, spends many Sundays wandering the city with his husband, Paris R. Baldacci, 70, a law professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Mr. Dolkart, in recognition of his tireless study of New York old and new — he has written dozens of books and essays, and is working on a book about the garment district — will receive the Historic Districts Council’s Landmarks Lion award on Nov. 19.

Click here to read the whole report

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Glass Dome Could Rise Over Union Square’s Landmarked Tammany Hall

By Heather Holland

A major renovation is coming to the former Tammany Hall headquarters in Union Square where owners want to put a new glass dome over the landmarked building and demolish a theater to make way for retail and office space, the project’s architects said.

The historic structure at 44 Union Square East, built in 1929 to house the Democratic Party machine, will undergo a major overhaul that will restore the facade, gut the existing theater and add windows and glassier storefronts, according to BKSK Architects which is designing the project.

The most striking change will be a new 30-foot glass dome on top of the building, which will add about 27,000 square feet to the structure and will house office space, according to Harry Kendall, a partner at BKSK.

Click here to read the whole report

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Independent Engineer Report Supports Dismantling the Harlem Watchtower

An independent report on the structural integrity of the watchtower atop Marcus Garvey Park supports the Parks Department’s claim that the tower needs to be taken down as soon as possible.

Preservationists called for the report after finding out that an emergency contract to take down the tower did not mention anything about the restoration process.

Both the Parks Department and the Department of Buildings cited a 2009 report by Thornton Tomasetti when saying the tower needed to come down immediately.

Click here to read the whole article

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Community plan to unlock south Bronx waterfront recognized by state

The state Department of Environmental Conservation named the Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront Plan, which turns six waterfront patches into boat hubs, flood protectors and parks, to a draft of its ‘Open Space Plan.’

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, BY 

South Bronx residents have been demanding access to the waterfront — and it seems that state leaders have heard.

A plan to transform six parcels in Mott Haven and Port Morris into waterfront parks has been nominated for addition to a statewide list of land conservation projects.

The plan — cooked up by South Bronx Unite — would build boat hubs, restore a historic gantry and pier and install a waterfront trail that spans the Harlem River, the Bronx Kill and the East River.

Click here to read the whole report

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Frick Opponents Get Organized

“[The local community] regards this as the museum down the block,” said Simeon Bankoff, executive director of HDC, whose organization issued a statement in October opposing the plan. “They regard this as a wonderful amenity to their home. The feel very strongly about it.”

HDC cited the destruction of the Russell Page garden and the size of the addition as its major concerns with the proposal, which, its statement said, would “transform The Frick into an institutional environment.”

The fate of the garden is one of the most visible concerns among critics of the expansion, and its salvation is one of Unite to Save the Frick’s top priorities.

Click here to read the whole article

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Historic Districts Council Opposes Frick Expansion

New York Times, By 

The Historic Districts Council, which can influence the city’s decisions but has no official role, has come out in opposition to the Frick Collection’s planned expansion, the council announced on Wednesday.

The council’s public review committee — which examines proposals for work on landmark buildings that are to come before the Landmarks Preservation Commission — said in a statement that the proposed expansion “will destroy the design intent of Thomas Hastings’ residential composition and John Russell Pope’s graceful museum transformation.”

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Redevelopment of Former Indigent Farm Community Proposed

Plan for former Farm Colony would entail the demolition five out of eleven historic structures in the district, create senior housing. On September 30, 2014, the Landmarks Preservation Commission considered an application for the redevelopment of theNew York City Farm Colony-Seaview Hospital Historic Districtlocated in Staten Island in the Castleton area. The 45-acre property, which housed indigent and disabled New Yorkers in exchange for labor, operated roughly from 1898 to 1975, and was developed from 1874 to the 1930s. In addition to being a landmarked historic district, the Farm Colony is also zoned in a special natural area district, which mandates the preservation of any unique natural features. The colony’s buildings have been little maintained since its abandonment.

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How to Turn Your Block Into an Historic District

By Nikhita Venugopal

The surge of future development in Brooklyn has made a group of Sunset Parkers think about its past.

When local residents realized the neighborhood’s notable brownstones could be lost to redevelopment, they banded together to save the buildings through a historic district status.

“Sunset Park is in danger of losing its sense of place,” according to the Sunset Park Landmarks Committee’s website.

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City Planning appoints inaugural COO

Crain’s New York, BY 

After the Department of City Planning pledged earlier this year to streamline operations at the agency, it has created and filled a position specifically for that purpose.

Jon Kaufman, a former partner at consulting firm Bain & Co., was appointed the agency’s first chief operating officer Wednesday. While Mr. Kaufman comes from the private sector, he had already volunteered his time earlier this year at City Planning to help analyze the department’s organizational structure—which the de Blasio administration and City Planning Commission Chairman Carl Weisbrod have pledged to dramatically alter.

“Jon’s appointment underscores the de Blasio administration’s commitment to make our review and approval processes more transparent, more efficient and overall more expeditious,” Mr. Weisbrod said in an email to colleagues announcing the appointment.

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That ‘Temporary’ Frick Garden — It Was Created to Be Permanent

Huffington Post By Charles Birnbaum

This “temporary” idea is an important talking point in the Frick’s justification; the garden’s supposed planned obsolescence is foundational to their argument. There’s only one problem — the Frick created this verdant oasis as “a permanent garden” — at least that’s what the museum’s own February 4, 1977 press release about it states. An anonymous source recently sent me the seven page release (with a note saying “This document is on file at the Frick Art Reference Library”) and directed me to the fourth paragraph on page six — there it is, plain as day: “a permanent garden.”

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Scientists recreate old beer they dug up in Chinatown

New York Post By Natalie O’Neill

A beer bottle from the 1800s was unearthed by archaeologists in Chinatown — inspiring them to revive the rare old brew.

The scientists discovered the glass “California Pop Beer” bottle on Bowery Street near Canal Street, where a popular beer hall, Atlantic Garden, bustled in the 1850s, scientists said.

“It’s a light summer drink, slightly minty and refreshing” said Alyssa Loorya, 44, president of Chrysalis Archaeology, which headed the project.

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Decoding New York: Unearthing Treasures Beneath New York’s Streets

 

During the dig an old glass bottle was unearthed and the bottle’s label said it had contained ‘California Pop Beer’. Alyssa Loorya followed through and tracked down the original beer patent and then reproduced the beer using a home brewing kit. It’s a beer infused with ginger root, sarsparilla and wintergreen oil and reportedly has quite a kick, see Scientists Recreate Old Beer. You can try it yourself if you do the Historic Districts council ‘Historic Pub Crawl’ to be held Sept 6 at 1.00 pm for just $10. Go here for tickets, Historic Pub Crawl. it’s not everyone who can say they have drunk apart of New York’s past.

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The War on New York’s Waterfront

New York Times By PAUL GREENBERG, ROLAND LEWIS and JOAN K. DAVIDSON

What we don’t need, in a place whose uniqueness attracts the world, is another sterile development that further reduces Manhattan to an overstuffed version of every other city in the country. It will take time, thought, private investment and, dare we say it, significant public funds. But New Yorkers have done these kinds of bold things before. If you don’t believe us, next time you’re downtown on the East River waterfront, look up. There you’ll see a bridge that somebody managed to sell us.

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As New York City property values surge, historic sites reduced to memories

Reuters By Laila Kearney

As wealthy prospective buyers search for dwindling space to transform into high-end retail or apartment sites, city historians and sentimentalists fear that the shops and restaurants from some of Manhattan’s most notable eras have been marked for extinction.

“New Yorkers are seeing buildings and institutions they thought were going to be there forever disappearing,” said Simeon Bankoff, director of the city’s Historic Districts Council. “It seems to have reached a bit of a fever pitch.”

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Midtown East Steering Committee to Make Everyone Happy

New York Observer by: Tobias Salinger  

Representatives from a mishmash of 11 organizations, including Community Boards 5 and 6, preservation groups like the Historic Districts Council, business organizations like the Grand Central Partnership, urban planning research groups like the Regional Plan Association and the industry’s advocacy group, the Real Estate Board of New York, will figure out a way to jumpstart the 73-block rezoning proposal that died in the City Council last winter.

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Buildings With a Past

Creating New York Apartments From Unlikely Buildings

NYTimes By C. J. HUGHES

Land is extremely scarce, they say, and historic districts, which are numerous, make new construction tough. Besides, some old-time structures are far bigger than what zoning would allow on their lots today. Adaptive reuse can also be speedier.

But curb appeal may also have something to do with it. “There’s a general movement now that goes beyond real estate, a reaction to a world that’s become increasingly electronic,” said Toby Moskovits, president of Heritage Equity Partners, which is transforming a church-and-school complex into apartments in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “People are more comfortable,” she added, “with something that feels authentic.”

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 Readers sound off on landmarks

Daily News By: Arthur Levin, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

What the Real Estate Board of New York study cited in this article fails to address is that, according to experts, the single largest factor contributing to the increasing unaffordability of our city is the disappearance of existing affordable housing — a fact acknowledged in Mayor de Blasio’s affordable housing plan. Historic districts in fact help preserve and protect thousands of units of affordable housing that might otherwise be lost to demolition.

An objective examination of potential solutions to our city’s housing affordability challenge is not really the agenda of REBNY, a trade association representing developers, which has long lobbied for reducing and eliminating affordable housing protections. The REBNY agenda is to maximize the freedom of its developer members to tear down and build whatever they want, wherever they want.

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Last Night’s Heavy Rainfall Turns Gowanus Canal Into One Big  Toilet Once Again

Pardon Me For Asking

Last night’s heavy rain caused another Combined Sewer Overflow event last night and by 11 PM, much of the waterway was covered with raw sewage.  The smell was unbelievable.  It was too dark to take photos, but I took a walk over both the Union Street and Carroll Street bridges at 6 am this morning, and took some pictures. It was still rather awful and smelly and the bacteria count in the water must have been off the charts.

It is unfathomable to thing that the new residents of the 700 unit Lightstone Group Project at the shores of the canal will have to deal with this every time it rains heavily.

Click here to read the whole article

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RIZZOLI CEILING SOON TO PERISH

 

Save Rizzoli

In the days preceding the ceiling extraction, we had been in communication with Vornado Realty Trust to acquire their permission and insurance requirements for our highly experienced crew to enter the site and remove large portions of the ceiling. By all accounts, they initially supported the endeavor, and everyone appeared to be on board. Our team only awaited the approval of Vornado CEO Steven Roth.

But then on Thursday, as our preservationists prepared to conduct a probe of the ceiling’s material condition, we learned our access to the site had been denied. At the last minute, Steven Roth intervened and thwarted our attempt to preserve the building’s architectural details for posterity.

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Library’s Rose Main Reading Room Closed for Six Months

Plaster Fell From the 52-Foot-Tall Ceiling in May

Wall Street Journal By Jennifer Maloney

The New York Public Library’s Rose Main Reading Room will remain closed for the next six months for inspection and repairs after a plaster rosette fell from its ceiling in May, library officials said Monday.

The reading room is the jewel of the library’s flagship Fifth Avenue building, which draws 2.3 million visits a year. The room’s 52-foot-tall ceilings are adorned with painted clouds and other decorations molded in plaster.

The library Monday didn’t have a cost estimate for the inspection or repairs.

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Mysterious Railroad Relic Unearthed on Governors Island

DNAInfo By Irene Plagianos

A recent dig on Governors Island unearthed a rusty relic of its military history — and island officials aren’t sure what it is.

While working on the island’s sewer systems, excavators found what appears to be part of a railway train car or hand cart once used on the island’s early 20th century railroad system, said Elizabeth Rapuano, a spokeswoman for the Trust for Governors Island.

“It’s a fun surprise — we’ve never found anything like it before,” Rapuano said. “We’re still trying to figure out exactly what it is…we’d love to get responses from the public about [it].”

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Closer look at two significant neighborhoods

This tour was made possible by the Historic Districts Council. It is part of the nonprofit’s “Six To Celebrate,” which offers tours of six areas the group deems worthy of preservation.

“These tours serve to highlight neighborhoods that many New Yorkers are unaware of to shine a light on unknown aspects of their history or built environment,” said Barbara Zay of HDC.

The Forest Close Association its neighborhood for the honor. Forest Close is a group of 1927 rowhouses bounded by 75th Road, 76th Avenue, and Austin Street.

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Ratner wins prize for best … preservationist?

Brooklyn Paper
BY MATTHEW PERLMAN

Preservationists at the Municipal Art Society issued their most prestigious award to Forest City Ratner’s chairman Bruce Ratner and head Maryanne Gilmartin on Wednesday night. Advocates that take exception to the builder’s biggest projects, Atlantic Yards and MetroTech Center, which have replaced and are slated to replace more than a dozen primarily low-slung blocks with hulking skyscrapers and the Barclays Center arena, are fuming at the decision.

“Forest City Ratner Companies has been bulldozing and demolishing huge tracts of land,” said Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council, a preservationist group that spun off from the Municipal Art Society in the 1980s. “They’re creating these places that are not places at all.”

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DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE RELEASES REPORT

Everything Old Is New Again: Conversions of Historic Properties in Lower Manhattan

Historic properties are being reimagined and preserved through significant new investment and changes in use. These projects show that preser­vation and economic development can be powerful partners. As new office space comes online across the district, historic former office buildings are being converted into new retail, hotel and residential spaces fitting for a 21st Century Downtown.

Click here to access the full report.

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Brooklyn’s Historic Churches Disappear to Make Way for Condos

 

Some preservationists and historians say the loss of churches is changing the face of some of borough’s most historic neighborhoods.

“I think it’s a tragedy that we are losing these unique and amazing structures,” said Sharon Barnes, a member of the Society for Clinton Hill. “They are part of the fabric of our streets and to lose so many is heartbreaking.”

But Simeon Bankoff, director of the Historic Districts Council, an organization that advocates for New York City’s historic neighborhoods, said that church to condo conversions are a practical way to preserve the historic nature of the buildings after congregations can no longer afford the upkeep.

“The actual physical character of the buildings is retained even when they are converted to residential use,” he said.

Click here to read the whole article

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The Value of Land: How Community Land Trusts Maintain Housing Affordability

 

Urban Omnibus by Oksana Mironova
Affordable housing is on New York City’s mind. A critical mass of civic organizations, academic institutions, city agencies, advocacy groups, and others are pondering the essential and perennial issue of how to ensure that the city becomes affordable for the extraordinarily diverse population that makes it work. What’s more, the conversation is riding a new wave of perceived political support from the de Blasio administration, which has tapped leading academics and esteemed private and public sector figures to deliver on its ambitious promise to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing in ten years. With the details of the Mayor’s plan due to be released May 1st, we will undoubtedly be hearing a great deal of commentary about policy and implementation – development sites, low-income housing tax credits, preservation, NYCHA reforms – for weeks to come.
Click here to read the whole report

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Plan to Honor Big Developer in Brooklyn Is Criticized

NYTimes BY Matt Chaben

The Municipal Art Society is well known for campaigns to save Grand Central Terminal and Lever House and to stop towers that would have cast long shadows over Central Park.

But now the civic organization is the one defending itself, for deciding to award the developer Bruce C. Ratner its highest honor, one named for the very person who led some of those fights.

“We claim no ownership of the Onassis name, though we do draw on her spirit,” said Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council, a citywide preservation group. “To honor Forest City Ratner with an award named for someone so well known for fighting to preserve New York’s neighborhoods is just too much.”

Click here to read the whole story

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An economic defense of old buildings

Washington Post By Emily Badger

“For a long time, preservationists have been making the the cultural argument that these places feed our soul, and they connect us to our past,” says Stephanie Meeks, the president and CEO of the National Trust of the National Trust. “But this is the first time we’ve had empirical data to show that these places perform better economically and on many livability factors, as well.”

The report divided each city into a grid of 200-by-200-meter squares to allow comparison across neighborhoods (city blocks tend to be different sizes even across the same city, making that unit a poor measure).

Click here to read the whole article

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State will not move forward with historic district designation of Gowanus due to overwhelming opposition

Daily News BY 

The state Historic Preservation Office has decided not to pursue the designation of a large swath of the neighborhood, an area that would have covered 422 properties near the notoriously polluted Gowanus Canal

“It’s very disturbing that people went door to door . . . bullying people to go against this and giving them misinformation,” said Linda Mariano, co-founder of Friends and Residents of Great Gowanus, a citizens group that has pushed for the creation of a historic district since the early 2000s.

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This Is New York Now: Starbucks, Frozen Yogurt and Juice Bars

By 
We’ve been waiting for the other shoe to fall for months now, ever since Bleecker Street Records was pushed out of its longtime home at 239 Bleecker Street in August by a massive rent increase that would have required the record store to pay $27,000 a month. What purveyor of luxury goods would fill the home from which the vinyl mecca drew its name? (Miraculously, Bleecker Street Records found a space around the corner at 188 West 4th.)Now we know, h/t Grub Street: a Starbucks will be moving in.

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New Yorkers, Take Back Your City

 

The old-school gentrification of the 20th century, while harmful, wasn’t all bad. It made streets safer, created jobs and brought fresh vegetables to the corner store. Today, however, what we talk about when we talk about gentrification is actually a far more destructive process, one that I prefer to call hyper-gentrification.

Unlike gentrification, in which the agents of change were middle-class settlers moving into working-class and poor neighborhoods, in hyper-gentrification the change comes from city government in collaboration with large corporations. Widespread transformation is intentional, massive and swift, resulting in a completely sanitized city filled with brand-name mega-developments built for the luxury class. The poor, working and middle classes are pushed out, along with artists, and the city goes stale. Urban scholar Neil Smith wrote extensively about the phenomenon, calling it “a systematic class-remaking of city neighborhoods.”

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Public Library Is Abandoning Disputed Plan for Landmark

NYTimes By ROBIN POGREBIN

In a striking about-face, the New York Public Library has abandoned its much-disputed renovation plan to turn part of its research flagship on Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street into a circulating library and instead will refurbish the nearby Mid-Manhattan Library, several library trustees said.

“When the facts change, the only right thing to do as a public-serving institution is to take a look with fresh eyes and see if there is a way to improve the plans and to stay on budget,” Anthony W. Marx, the library’s president, said on Wednesday.

The renovation of the flagship, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, would have replaced the book stacks under the building’s main reading room with the new lending library. The project was to be paid for with $150 million from New York City and proceeds from the sale of the Mid-Manhattan Library, at Fifth Avenue and 40th Street, and the Science, Industry and Business Library in the former B. Altman building, on Madison Avenue at 34th Street.

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New York Public Library Scraps Redesign Plans

The Controversial Renovation Plan Prompted Three Lawsuits

WSJ By JENNIFER MALONEY

The New York Public Library has scrapped a controversial renovation plan that would have gutted century-old book stacks from its landmark Fifth Avenue building.

Its decision came amid three lawsuits and skepticism from Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was under pressure from his supporters to claw back $150 million in city funding for the project.

The library on Wednesday said that an independent cost analysis it commissioned showed that the renovation of the Stephen A. Schwarzman building would have cost significantly more than the $300 million it originally projected.

“When the facts change, the only right thing to do as a public-serving institution is to take a look with fresh eyes and see if there is a way to improve the plans and to stay on budget,” Anthony Marx, the library’s president, said.

Click here to read the full article

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City unveils 200K-unit, $41B housing plan

 

Crains BY ANDREW J. HAWKINS

Mayor Bill de Blasio hails his effort as “literally the largest and most ambitious affordable-housing program” in the history of the nation. He promised to work collaboratively with the real estate industry but vowed to “drive a hard bargain.”

The mayor did not identify specific neighborhoods that would be targeted for aggressive development, however City Planning Commissioner Carl Weisbrod said the Planning Commission would initiate a “dozen” planning studies in the months ahead to start that process. His plan calls for additional building atop rail yards, such as with Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn and Hudson Yards in Manhattan, but does not identify specific locations.

Public housing will be a component of this plan, though likely not the building of new public housing, as Mr. de Blasio noted that funding from the federal government was essentially “frozen.” Asked if new legislation will be required from Albany to help entice developers or protect rent regulated apartments, Mr. de Blasio responded vaguely that his administration expected the full cooperation from both the federal and state governments.

“We insist on real involvement,” he said.

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Mayor de Blasio’s Plan to Build More Cells

In considering ways in which space can be arranged to accommodate New York’s poor, the new plan is not the most sensible one. By 

Does anybody care about the quality of housing? Apparently not, or at least not in New York. How and where you live is only a numbers game, as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement of a plan to “spend” up to $40 billion to create “affordable” housing in the city makes clear.

Click here to read the full story

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The Giant New Building That Is About to Overshadow the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine — And How the City Ought to Step In

New York Magazine By 

There’s a better way: negotiate. What matters most to the cathedral’s majesty is its presence on the street, not the height of its still-nonexistent central tower. So if Mayor de Blasio moves fast, before construction has actually begun, he can still broker a compromise:

Click here to read the full article

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HONORS> HISTORIC DISTRICTS COUNCIL DESIGN AWARDS

Architects Newspaper By: Alan G. Brake

One of New York’s leading preservation groups names winners of its first awards program

The Historic Districts Council, one of New York’s leading historic preservation organizations, has announced the winners of its first annual design awards. The goal of the awards program is to “broaden perceptions of the possibilities of design in historic settings,” according to a statement from the organization. AN served as a media sponsor for the awards, and I served as a juror for the awards along side jury chair James Stewart Polshek; Leo A. Blackman, principal, Leo A. Blackman Architects; Jean Caroon, principal, Good Clancy; Andrew Scott Dolkart, director of the Historic Preservation program at Columbia; and Adam Yarinsky, principal at ARO. Drawing over 70 entries from within the five boroughs, the award winning projects exemplify the power of contemporary design to engage with history and enrich the life of the city.

Click here to read the full article

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Supporters of Closing Rizzoli Bookstore Call for Reforms to City’s Landmarks Process

News 1

Supporters say the century old Rizzoli Building, which houses the Rizzoli Bookstore, deserves protection through landmark status, despite a rejection by the Landmark Preservation Commission. They say the commission’s process is slow and lacks transparency.

“We’re here today to ask that LPC immediately study those remaining buildings on West 57th street, particularly those on this block, to identify and landmark those that represent the best of their eras, so we don’t have any more Rizzoli situations,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

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Demolition freeze may cover 80% of the city

 

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s bid to protect buildings over age 50 frightens developers, construction unions and housing activists.

Crains By Joe Anuta

A politician’s proposal to protect the thousands of older buildings in New York that face demolition each year has triggered a backlash not just among powerful developers, but also among construction unions and advocates for affordable housing who fear the measure could drastically curb residential construction in the city.

The storm began on April 4 at a protest outside the stately, likely-to-be-razed Rizzoli bookstore on West 57th Street, when Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer pledged to do more to prevent such losses in the future. She offered to introduce a bill that would require a 30-day review by the Landmarks Preservation Commission of any demolition permit filed for a building over 50 years old. The measure would apply to nearly 80% of the city’s structures and 91% of those in Manhattan, according to city data.

 Click here to read the full story

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Museum fears plaster disaster from next-door hotel project

The Villager by Sam Spokony

  To the dismay of advocates for the historic Merchant’s House Museum, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission finally approved a plan for the construction of an eight-story hotel next to the museum, in a six-to-one vote on April 8.

The planned 27 E. Fourth St. hotel — which would sit immediately to the west of the 29 E. Fourth St. museum — had twice been rejected by L.P.C., after first being introduced in 2012 as a nine-story structure. But the final design’s slightly smaller scale, along with other exterior changes, apparently led the commission to allow it to go forward.

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Merchant’s House-Neighboring Hotel Approved by Landmarks

Curbed by Jeremiah Budin

The only Commissioner to vote against the proposal, Margery Perlmutter, called it “drab on so many levels.” “I feel likewe’ve been exhausted into saying yes to this proposal, so I’m saying no,” she said.

The hotel proposal has been a subject of controversy not just because of its underwhelming design, but also because of the neighboring Merchant’s House, which preservationists fear will be harmed by the construction. The developers have promised to take extensive measures to ensure that the almost-two-century-old structure will not be harmed, and the Commission had basicallysigned off on that aspect at the last hearing, so there was no further discussion of the museum. It’s supporters, wearing stickers urging the LPC to say no to the hotel, left quietly and dejectedly.

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LPC Likely to Protect Ladies’ Mile Buildings From Demolition

 

Chelsea Now by Scott Stiffler

A developer’s plan to demolish two landmarked 19th-century buildings on West 19th Street was met with stiff resistance by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), following similar opposition by community leaders and preservationists.

Although no official vote was taken at the April 1 hearing, the commissioners were nearly unanimous in their belief that Panasia Estate, the owner of 51 and 53 West 19th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues), should focus on restoring the buildings — which lie within the Ladies’ Mile Historic District — rather than replacing them with a proposed 14-story residential building.

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“Everybody Has Been Bought Off”: Brewer, Neighbors Protest Imminent Rizzoli Bookstore Demolition

Gothamist by Ben Miller

A coalition of preservationists and community leaders held a rally and press conference today in front of the soon-to-be-demolished Rizzoli Bookstore, which has already been defaced, at least on the outside, by the developers who hope to tear it down and put up more glassy condos.

Click here to read the full article

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Sunset Park Leading Grassroots Effort to Preserve Its History

NY1 by Jeanine Ramirez

“We’ve got letters from all those homeowners saying that they are in support,” said one person.

On Wednesday, the community board voted unanimously in favor. It will now write a resolution to the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Board members emphasized that the effort is not to make the working-class community more expensive, but to maintain its architectural significance.

“That character is one of affordability, said Daniel Murphy, the chair of Community Board 7. “We were never a bourgeois neighborhood. We want to preserve as much as that as we can.”

Click here to read the full article

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COOKFOX Wins Award for Front Street; BK Heights Tour

Curbed by Zoe Rosenberg

The Historic District Council has awarded an inaugural design award to Historic Front Street at South Street Seaport. Designed by COOKFOX Architects, the project infilled a number of empty sites along the stretch.

Click here to read the full article

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A Landmark Restored, From Mosaic Marble Floor to Grand Dome

Michael Nagle for The New York Times

Sandstone walls were painted white. Decorative walnut and mahogany woodwork was painted green. The hand-cut mosaic floors of the two banking halls were badly damaged, as were floors of encaustic tile elsewhere in the building. Most of the decorative hardware was gone. The bird-cage elevator was stilled.

Dust had accumulated so exactly along the lines of the framework behind the dome that Mr. Perez San Martin thought the dark spokes were part of the original mural. A cleaning and restoration by Sandra Spannan of See Painting revealed otherwise.

New encaustic tiles were ordered from the English firm Craven Dunnill & Company, which still had the molds and colors necessary to match the existing floors, Mr. Perez San Martin said. The walls and woodwork were stripped and restored.

Click here to read the full article

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Preservation Pays! REBNY’S Campaign Against Landmark Protection Is Misguided

By opposing preservation, REBNY and its allies oppose the will of the people

BY JEFFREY A. KROESSLER/New York Observer

Imagine New York City without a landmarks law protecting historic neighborhoods and buildings. Actually, one does not have to imagine. There are examples aplenty across the five boroughs. From urban renewal sites to the apartment towers rising in Williamsburg and Long Island City, from “McMansions” replacing older homes in Forest Hills and Kew Gardens to new construction breaking up an intact block of row houses in Sunset Park, there is evidence anywhere you look.

The Real Estate Board of New York has launched an aggressive media campaign against historic preservation. There are too many landmarks, they wail, and many of those are unworthy! They argue that historic districts impede growth and development. Their evidence on all fronts is slim to misleading. Here’s why.

Follow us: @newyorkobserver on Twitter | newyorkobserver on Facebook

Click here to read the full article

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Mayor de Blasio’s Brooklyn housing plan is building big worries

BY / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

 

The fears crystalized Wednesday when the Planning Board approved a $1.5 billion project on the site of old Domino sugar plant in Williamsburg. It will have towers as high as 55 stories, or about 20 stories more than zoning on the site normally allows.

Permission for the taller buildings was granted in return for the developer setting aside 537,000 square feet, a quarter of all space, for 700 units of affordable housing.

That’s compared to 20% under a less dense 2010 plan.

Click here to read the full article
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Cities Mobilize to Help Those Threatened by Gentrification

By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS/New York Times

Newcomers, whose vitality is critical to cities, are hardly being turned away. But officials say a balance is needed, given the attention and government funding being spent to draw young professionals — from tax breaks for luxury condominium buildings to new bike lanes, dog parks and athletic fields.

“We feel the people who toughed it out should be rewarded,” said Darrell L. Clarke, president of the Philadelphia City Council, which last year approved legislation to limit property tax increases for longtime residents. “And we feel it is incumbent upon us to protect them.”

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Argument Over a Brownstone Neighborhood

The Case for and Against a Bed-Stuy Historic District

 By /New York Times

Supporters contend that a designation would preserve an architecturally and historically significant part of the city while also rewarding residents who had stuck with the neighborhood during tough times, in part by increasing the value of their homes and preventing unwelcome new development.

Opponents predict that a designation would bring heftier renovation costs and a tangle of regulations for homeowners seeking to improve their properties, along with higher rents and sale prices that would force out the largely low-income minority residents who form the area’s core. Opponents also argue that most Bed-Stuy residents weren’t adequately informed about the proposal.

Click here to read the full article

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 Renovation, restoration the trend in Midtown East

By /Real Estate Weekly

With Midtown East’s controversial rezoning currently on hold for the foreseeable future, owners of properties in the district are taking a second look at extant buildings — and many like what they see.

125 Park Avenue

Numerous major renovations and restorations had already been launched in the area prior to the rezoning’s tabling, from SL Green’s swanky 2008 renovation of 125 Park Avenue, a 1923 Romanesque Revival office building directly adjacent to Grand Central, to a current restoration of 501 Fifth Avenue by Abramson Brothers, Inc., which will restore the 1916 Beaux Arts skyscraper’s original limestone façade.

In the wake of these are a slew of similarly ambitious projects, including RFR’s “reimagined” 285 Madison Avenue, a gut renovation and new ground floor at the equally impressive 292 Madison just across the street and a burnishing of 501 Madison Avenue that promises to bring a tarnished Art Deco jewel back to its original luster.

Click here to read the full article

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HDC’s Simeon Bankoff Talks About Life on the Preservation Front Lines

City Land Profile

Advice for the Uninitiated. Mr. Bankoff described HDC’s work as tripartite: education, advocacy, and community outreach. In addition to his ubiquitous presence at Landmarks, City Council, and community boards in support of preservation, HDC hosts lectures and tours, often in response to requests from civic groups. Mr. Bankoff likes to bring together civic groups with government representatives from Landmarks, Buildings, and Council, providing the agencies with an opportunity to meet communities in a neutral situation, and the communities with different perspectives on the designation process.

Click here to read the full article

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Potential Historic District Supported by Elected Officials and Community Boards

By: Jesse Denno/City Land

Representatives of Council Members Daniel Garodnick and Ben Kallos testified in support of the designation. A representative of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney voiced her “full-throated support” of “this iconic area of our city,” and a representative of State Senator Liz Krueger testified that “threats to this section of Park Avenue are not merely theoretical.” Representatives of Manhattan Community Boards 8 and 11 also recommended designation.

Click here to read the full article
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Category: Featured · Tags: , , ,

HDC Statement- Zoning for Quality & Affordability Scoping Session

Posted by on Friday, March 27, 2015 · Leave a Comment 

March 25, 2015

Statement of the Historic Districts Council

City Planning Commission

Zoning for Quality & Affordability

 

The Historic Districts Council is the citywide advocate for New York’s historic neighborhoods.  We represent over 500 neighborhood-based group dedicated to preserving the physical character of their communities. Many of our constituents have spent years working with property owners, Community Boards, City Planning and elected officials to enact contextual zones in order to better protect the character of their neighborhoods and encourage appropriate new development which enhances where they call home. It is on their behalf that we address our very strong concerns about this proposed citywide zoning text amendment.

Frankly put, this amendment as it is proposed, takes the context out of contextual zoning.  It arbitrarily raises height limits and diminishes yard requirements across the board according to a mathematical nicety, not based in the actual built fabric of our city’s neighborhoods. Contextual zones came to fruition after years of effort by community-driven, carefully examined, neighborhood-specific studies. New York thrives because of the diversity of its neighborhoods, yet this proposal’s approach will deal with each neighborhood as the same, with a one-size-fits-all approach.  HDC requests that the environmental review include an actual study of the median street wall and set-back height and yard coverage of all the potential areas affected. A calculation of potential growth based on a model is not the same as actual development, especially when one considers the diversity of New York’s built environment. This amendment will affect a lot–approximately 10.4% of properties, according to our calculations. This potential impact on these properties must be studied carefully before being executed.

This is a plan without prescription. It should be prescribed that only units constructed for affordable or senior housing receive height bonuses, which would incentivize construction of the housing stock that is the genesis of this proposal and that the City so desperately needs. At this moment, the proposal incentivizes all development, without any guarantee that it will actually house New Yorkers who are rent-burdened.  In fact, a point could be made that this might incentivize demolition of existing housing in order to replace it with new development utilizing the proposed as-of-right height limits. This could increase displacement while only adding more market-rate housing to the pool. Bigger buildings do not equal lower rents, if that were the case, West 57th Street would be Manhattan’s newest neighborhood for the middle class.

There is also no explanation of how building higher will mandate construction of quality buildings like the examples in the proposal. Interestingly, the new construction that City Planning aspires to create is found in historic districts in all five boroughs, as these buildings are designed from a human perspective and new development is carefully scrutinized to meet its context. It is outside of the city’s historic and contextual districts where true banality dwells and quality design is an elusive sight.

Further, HDC is concerned that this proposal has not taken into consideration the undue burden on contextually zoned properties that fall under the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s (LPC) purview.  LPC is hard-pressed regulating property for “appropriate” development in instances when the as-of-right base zoning allows substantially more potential building mass than what is actually built – relief of this pressure is one reason why contextual rezonings are often paired with historic district designations. By raising the height limits and lessening the yard requirements to landmark properties, the development expectations are increased and the LPC is given the unenviable task of having to resist policy enacted by a sister city agency.  This could result in hardship claims, legal challenges and undue pressures on the LPC to act outside of its own mission.

Finally, we ask that special attention be paid in the environmental review to the effects the proposed changes might have to designated landmark  properties, as well as properties determined eligible for or included on the New York State or National Register of Historic Places (as is required by municipal and state law regardless). With these concerns in mind, we feel that this proposal is myopic, hasty, and created without New Yorkers or their neighborhoods in mind.

 

To view the proposal click here 

 

Category: Blog, Featured, News, Newsfeed, Special Blog, Upzoning · Tags: , , ,

Saving Place- Redefining Preservation for the 21st Century

Posted by on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 · Leave a Comment 

Redefining Preservation for the 21st Century
Monday, April 20 at 5:30 pm

On the eve of the opening of Saving Place: 50 Years of New York City Landmarksthe Museum of the City of New York will celebrate its newest exhibition with a multi-disciplinary symposium. Please join a panel of distinguished speakers to explore the challenges and opportunities of the preservation movement today and in the future. What role will preservation play in keeping New York a dynamic global city? How will preservation law and practice continue to adapt over time? Tickets to this event include admission to the opening reception for the exhibition.

Vishaan Chakrabarti, AIA, Director, Columbia University Center for Urban Real Estate
Roberta Brandes Gratz, Urban Critic and Journalist
Michael Kimmelman, Architecture Critic, The New York Times
Steven Spinola, President, Real Estate Board of New York
Robert A. M. Stern, FAIA, Dean, School of Architecture, Yale University
Moderated by Adele Chatfield-Taylor, Former CEO, American Academy in Rome

Tickets

$20 Use discount code HDC20

Location: This event takes place at the New York Academy of Medicine; reception to follow across the street at the City Museum.

Photo © Iwan Baan

 

Register Now

 

Join the conversation. #SavingPlace @HDC_NYC @MuseumofCityNY
 

 

The symposium is made possible through the generous support of the New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation and is co-presented with AIA New York Chapter | Center for Architecture, AIANY Historic Building Committee, Art Deco Society of New York, The Beaux Arts Alliance, Brooklyn Heights Association, Brooklyn Historical Society, Carnegie Hill Neighbors, CUNY Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, Docomomo US/New York Tri-State, Gotham Center for New York City History, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Historic Districts Council, Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA), The James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation, Judd Foundation, The Municipal Art Society, New York School of Interior Design, Neighborhood Preservation Center, NYC Landmarks 50, New York Landmarks Conservancy, New York Preservation Archive Project, Pratt Institute, and Society of Architectural Historians.

AIA CES credits will be offered for attending this program.

Category: Blog, Program & Events · Tags: , , , ,

Deserving but not Designated-Brooklyn

Posted by on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 · 3 Comments 

Deserved but not Designated are neighborhoods in New York City which have submitted comprehensive Requests For Evaluation (RFEs) and/or have had public hearings at the Landmarks Preservation Commission, yet remain unprotected by landmark designation.  These landmark-worthy places possess the same qualities as landmark districts, such as architectural integrity, historic significance and distinct neighborhood character. HDC seeks to increase awareness of these deserving neighborhoods with an ultimate goal of gaining official NYC landmark designation for them.

The first step in the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation process is the formal Request For Evaluation. The RFE form is available on the Landmark Commission’s website (here) and only asks for basic information. Once an RFE has been submitted, a formal conversation with the LPC can begin. However, experienced advocates often supplement the brief form with supporting materials. These often substantial presentations are usually the product of countless hours of volunteer activity by neighborhood activists spent researching, writing, photographing and fundraising to better represent their case for preservation to the city.

74 Halsey Street

Bedford

 

 

 

 

Crown Heights North cover photo

 Crown Heights North- Phase III Designated!!!

 

 

 

 

park slope DSCN0637

 Park Slope 

 

 

 

 

SunsetPark-1-sm

Sunset Park 

 

 

 

 

Beverley Sq E. -217 E. 19th

 Victorian Flatbush

 

 

 

Category: Deserving but not Designated, Featured, HDC@LPC · Tags: , , , , , , ,

City Hall Rally on Effects of Mayor de Blasio’s Proposed “Zoning for Quality and Affordability”

Posted by on Monday, March 23, 2015 · Leave a Comment 

Cover image

City Hall Rally on Effects of Mayor de Blasio’s Proposed
“Zoning for Quality and Affordability”

Concerned neighborhood organizations throughout New York City are holding a press conference and rally on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday, March 25th at 3:00pm to express their concerns about Mayor De Blasio’s citywide re-zoning proposal, “Zoning for Quality and Affordability,” which would drastically reduce neighborhood zoning protections and raise height limits throughout the city.

To view the proposal click here 

Additional articles from neighborhood groups:

‘Citywide Rezoning Plan Would Benefit Developers, Hurt Neighborhoods’
http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinions/5633-citywide-rezoning-plan-would-benefit-developers-hurt-neighborhoods-de-blasio-berman

‘Zoning Changes Made in Haste Makes For Bad
Government’

http://chelseanow.com/2015/03/zoning-changes-made-in-haste-makes-for-bad-government/

‘Zoning Process Too Fast For CB4′
http://chelseanow.com/2015/03/zoning-process-too-fast-for-cb4/

Category: Blog, News · Tags: , ,

HDC@ – March 24, 2015

Posted by on Friday, March 20, 2015 · Leave a Comment 

Item 2

69 & 71-73 Greene Street – SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District

16-3169 – Block 486, Lot 25 &23, Zoned M1-5A

Community District 2, Manhattan

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

Two cast iron store buildings with neo-Grec style components designed by Henry Fernbach and built in 1876-77. Application is to remove the fire escapes and balconies from the front and rear facades, and to construct an entry vestibule at 71- 73 Greene Street.

Green St

Since the fire escapes will be removed, HDC asks that the fire shutters remain. As SoHo increasingly attains a polished patina, reminders of a once-industrial past have become scarce. Details like fire shutters beckon interest and whisper to the passerby of a grittier time, and these details should not be discarded.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications

 

Item 3

5-7 Mercer Street – SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District

16-5447– Block 230, Lot 42, Zoned M1-5B

Community District 2, Manhattan

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

A warehouse designed by J. B. Snook and built in 1861. Application is to install storefront infill.

5-7 Mercer historic 5-7 Mercer proposed

It is unclear when this piece of upstate New York landed in SoHo, but judging by the vehiclce in the historic photograph where the barn doors are present, it appears to be from the late 1960s or early 1970s. HDC suggests conducting some research further back in time, such as a tax photo, to determine the appropriate solution for this storefront infill. HDC is not convinced that there is a precedent for farm design elements in the SoHo Cast-Iron Historic District.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications

 

Item 4

630 9th Avenue – Film Center Building Lobby – Interior Landmark

16-6579 – Block 1035, Lot 1, Zoned C6-2

Community District 4, Manhattan

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

An Art Deco style interior lobby designed by Ely Jaques Kahn and built in 1928-29. Application is to replace light fixtures, replace and relocate the lobby desk, and install doors, security turnstiles, a fire command station, and signage.

630 9th Ave

An Interior Landmark, Ely Jacques Kahn’s Mayan Revival Art Deco lobby draws from pre-Columbian influences, including stepped pyramids, asserting a distinct geometry. The proposed desk is unacceptable, as it is curvilinear and looks like it belongs as a cash register counter in a streamlined, Moderne diner, not in this masterpiece space.

The tile floor pattern is described in the designation as “lend[ing] a strong directional quality to the space.”The implied circulation which is guided by shapes and patterns in the floor leads people to the desk and then to the elevator bank. Removing the desk as a gateway to the elevator bank and placing it against the wall disrupts the user’s experience of a lobby described as “one of Kahn’s most striking designs.”

Finally, the proposed light fixtures have the appearance of fluorescent tubes and are antithetical to the Art Deco aesthetic. Art Deco lighting is dimmed and always indirect light, usually applied to reflective surfaces such as marble. A lobby of this design caliber had custom-designed sconces at one time, as revealed by Avery Archives and we ask that these designs be replicated. The cumulative alterations as currently proposed for this space are severe detractions to Kahn’s symmetrical, considered composition.

LPC determination: No Action

Category: HDC@LPC · Tags:

Continuing Education Panel: Cast Iron New York

Posted by on Friday, March 20, 2015 · 2 Comments 

The Historic Districts Council is pleased to present Cast Iron New York as part of a series of continuing education panels focusing on historic materials. These programs illuminate the complex histories, manufacturing methods, restoration process and use as a contemporary material.

Continuing Education Panel
Cast Iron New York

robbins_appleton_building_1-5_bond_st_detail1looking_northwest_greene_st_bet_grand_broome_st_DETAIL

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

8:30am Check-in and continental breakfast
9:00am- 12:00pm Program

Neighborhood Preservation Center
232 East 11th  Street, Manhattan

Adorning the façade of buildings citywide, architectural cast iron is one of the most striking features of the New York City streetscape. Its use is so neighborhood-defining that it is the only material  identified in the official name of a historic district. Though most densely seen in the SoHo-Cast-Iron Historic District, cast iron’s early benefits of being inexpensive, mass-produced and stylistically diverse made it a popular choice for commercial buildings, many of which remain intact today.

This program will present a thorough consideration of varied aspects of this material. Topics to be covered will include an in-depth discussion of the use of cast iron in historic architecture, the manufacturing of cast iron for restoration and for new construction and the process of restoring of these historic buildings.

Speakers:

Stephen Gottlieb, AIA- Preservation Architect
J. Scott Howell- Vice President and General Manager, Robinson Iron
Robert Bates, AIA- Principal, Walter B. Melvin Architects, LLC

Fee:
General- $100
Friends of HDC- $75


Continuing Ed: Cast Iron




This program is available for 3 AIA LU/HSW and NYS credits.

AIA

Category: Architect Panel, Featured, Materials, SoHo, Young Professional · Tags:

HDC@LPC 3/17/2015

Posted by on Monday, March 16, 2015 · Leave a Comment 

HDC regularly reviews every public proposal affecting Individual Landmarks and buildings within Historic Districts in New York City, and when needed, we comment on them. Our testimony for the latest items to be presented at the Landmarks Preservation Commission is below.

Items 1-4

34-20 79th Street- Jackson Heights Historic District

16-7504 – Block 1265, Lot 11, Zoned R7-1

Community District 3, Queens

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

A Moderne style garden apartment building within a complex, designed by Andrew J. Thomas, and built in 1938-39. Application is to replace stucco siding with brick.

Dunolly stucco Dunolly

Dunolly Court was the last garden apartment complex constructed in the Jackson Heights Historic District, completed in 1939. Its streamlined, spare design and smooth brick surfaces speak to its era, while the chunky stucco–not so much. Since the rear facades were designed in the same manner as the front facades, the applicant should take care to identify and select the correct brick pattern in the locations where the stucco will be removed, or otherwise this masterful, Moderne composition will be compromised.

 LPC determination: APPROVED

 

Item 7

363 Greenwich Street-Tribeca West Historic District

16-6251 – Block 181, Lot 7502, Zoned C6-2A

Community District 1, Manhattan

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

An Italianate style store and loft building designed by Gage Inslee and built in 1866. Application is to install storefront infill and areaway railings.

363 Greenwich 363 Greenwich_1

From what HDC could discern from the rendering of the proposed storefront, it appears that the historic, round cast-iron columns will be flattened and transformed into Doric pilasters. The Committee is optimistic that this is not the case and rather that the original columns will be painted and adopted into the new storefront, as they add the most character and value to this storefront.

 LPC determination: APPROVED

 

Item 8

317 West 11th Street – Greenwich Village Historic District

16-0478 – Block 634, Lot 33, Zoned R6

Community District 2, Manhattan

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

A Greek Revival style rowhouse built in 1845 and altered between 1928 -1934. Application is to construct a rooftop bulkhead, reconstruct an existing rear extension, and excavate the rear yard.

317 W 11

This application is an example of a huge intervention in a very old part of the city, architecture-wise. While the Committee found the stoop and bulkhead construction appropriate, we regret the loss of the rear tea porch, which is a rare feature of which very few remain in New York City. The removal of the porch is merely forfeiting fabric for taste—the applicant is not extending this part of the house, only cladding it in glass. A stoop replacement does not legitimize the loss of the rear façade and excavation of the entire backyard.

 LPC determination: APPROVED

 

Item 10

223 West 13th Street – Greenwich Village Historic District

16-6754 – Block 618, Lot 51, Zoned R6

Community District 2, Manhattan

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

A Italianate style rowhouse built in 1851. Application is to alter the facade and excavate the front areaway.

223 W 13 223 W 13 scope

HDC regrets the failed cementitious application to this brick house and holds that conducting the same method of repair is a misstep.  The Committee saw the scars on the brick from the lath and understands that this appears less than perfect. One saving grace on this building is that the mortar is pigmented pink: a solution to mask the imperfections is applying a thin, tinted cement wash over the bricks. The current height of the stucco is distracting, and this building would appear its best as an all brick house, as it was intended to be.

LPC determination: APPROVED WITH MODIFICATIONS

 

Item 12

471 West 21st Street – Chelsea Historic District

16-4988 – Block 719, Lot 2, Zoned R7B, C2-5

Community District 4, Manhattan

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

An Italianate style rowhouse built in 1853. Application is to construct a rear yard addition.

471 W 21 proposed 471 W 21

HDC found the rear yard addition to be appropriate in terms of scale and fenestration. As this building’s rear is exposed nearly full-width and height next to a public park, HDC suggests cladding the new addition in a limestone-hued painted brick rather than blocky limestone panels, therefore preserving the appearance of the historic district from the public way.

LPC determination: APPROVED WITH MODIFICATIONS

 

Item 13

485 7th Avenue, aka 481-489 7th Avenue and 155-163 West 36th Street, Mills Hotel No. 3 – Individual Landmark

16-7603 – Block 812, Lot 1, Zoned M1-6

Community District 5, Manhattan

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

A neo-Renaissance style residential hotel building designed by Copeland & Dole and built in 1906-07. Application is to alter the base of the building, remove a chimney, alter interior light courts, replace storefront infill and signage, and construct a rooftop addition.

Mills Hotel proposed milles hotel historic

The applicant proposes to return the rusticated limestone piers in the form of CMUs to the corners of this building, which is fantastic. HDC would like to see more piers per façade treated in this manner, as this would visually anchor what is a grand, imposing building. The building’s massing will correctly read as heavy with the reintroduction of the piers, and the applicant has several historic photographs to identify which piers to restore.

LPC determination: APPROVED WITH MODIFICATIONS

 

Item 19

132 East 73rd Street – Upper East Side Historic District

15-7421 – Block 1407, Lot 61, Zoned R8B

Community District 8, Manhattan

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

A neo-Grec style rowhouse designed by William McNamara built in 1879-80 and altered in the Medieval Revival style by John J. Foley in 1913. Application is to alter the facade and install an areaway fence.

132 E 73

HDC found the façade alteration a tasteful enhancement, but asks that the proposed fence align both in height and projection of the neighbor’s areaway rail at number 136 East 73rd Street to ensure continuity of the streetscape’s railings and fencing.

LPC determinations: APPROVED WITH MODIFICATIONS

 

Category: HDC@LPC · Tags: , , , , ,

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The Historic Districts Council is the advocate for all of New York City's historic neighborhoods. HDC is the only organization in New York that works directly with people who care about our city's historic neighborhoods and buildings. We represent a constituency of over 500 local community organizations.

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