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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:

 

News:

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

Defending Historic Preservation in New York City

The demolition of the Dakota Stables

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.

Preservation Education

E-BULLETIN OF THE HISTORIC DISTRICTS COUNCIL

August 2014, Volume 11, Number 3

It’s What is on the Inside that Counts:

EverGreene Architectural Arts Studio Tour and Presentation

Eldridge Street Synagogue

Eldridge Street Synagogue

While building exteriors are often the most lauded architectural features and contribute to the sense of urbanism that defines New York City, the interior of these historic buildings-the murals, decorative paint, ornamental plaster, gilding and other unique specialty finishes- make them even more spectacular and unique. These decorative arts, often the most significant and character-defining part of a historic building, grace the interiors of worship spaces, schools, museums, theaters, commercial, residential and government buildings, many dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Continuing the Historic Districts Council’s investigation of historic materials, this program will look at the extensive work, creativity and knowledge of materials that is required to preserve these decorative interiors. Join HDC for a studio tour and presentation by EverGreene Architectural Arts.

The program will visit the working studio of one of the most well-regarded architectural arts firms in North America. Attendees will be able to view the hands-on work being undertaken by EverGreene artisans to restore and, at times, remake crucial interior features. The program will also include a presentation by EverGreene staff to discuss the process of architectural arts projects, including working with architects and clients, developing historic color palettes, combining historic and modern materials, and options regarding replacement materials.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

3:45 PM- Check-in

 4:00-6:00 PM-Studio Tour and Program

at

EverGreene Architectural Arts

 450 West 31st Street, 7th Floor

Fee:

Public-$60

Friends of HDC/VSNY members-$50

 To Learn more or to register click here 

2 AIA Approved LU/HSW Credits/2 NY State Licensing Credits

For more information or to RSVP please contact bharmon@hdc.org or visit here

This program is being co-sponsored by

——————————————————————————————————

Preservation School

School_JPG

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.

Course List:

~Monday, September 8, 2014- Preservation 101

~Wednesday, October 15, 2014-Historic Building Research

~Monday, November 10, 2014-NYC Architectural Styles

~Monday, December 8, 2014-NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission and State/National Register of Historic Places Designation

~Monday, February 9, 2015-Zoning 101

~Monday, March 9, 2015-Architectural Photography

~Monday, April 13, 2015- Reading Architectural Drawings

~Monday, May 11, 2015- Building Materials

All classes are at 6 PM at the

Neighborhood Preservation Center 232 East 11th Street 10003

For full class description and to register click here 

 

LPC Approves Apthorp Rooftop Additions

Posted by on Friday, August 15, 2014 · 2 Comments 

 E-BULLETIN OF THE HISTORIC DISTRICTS COUNCIL

August 2014, Volume 11, Number 2

LPC Approves Apthorp Rooftop Additions

apthorp

A revised proposal for rooftop additions to the Apthorp was approved unanimously on August 12, 2014, by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). The Apthorp is a NYC Individual Landmark, designed by architects Clinton & Russell and completed in 1908, and occupies a full city block between Broadway and West End Avenue and West 78th and 79th Streets. The proposal was the third iteration of a plan first heard at LPC Public Hearing in November, 2013, which drew palpable opposition from elected officials, noted architects, community groups, neighbors and Apthorp residents.

At the November 2013 hearing, HDC testified that the Apthorp’s iconic roofscape should be preserved, noting its fully conceived Renaissance Revival design, its ornate facades, and its pair of elegant pavilions which occupy the roof of the north and south sides of the building. The proposal’s most contentious issues were twofold: its extensive visibility (including through the building’s grand arches, from inside the building’s courtyard, and up to a half a mile away from the street) and the enclosure of the open-air pavilions.

The final design resulted in a one-story rooftop addition, with visibility dramatically reduced. Chair Srinivasan added that the addition’s interior height be lowered from 11 feet to 10, which would ameliorate, although not eliminate, the remaining visibility from Riverside Park. The design is a simplified departure from the initial proposed, where cornices and fenestration competed with the grand Apthorp for attention. The enclosure of the pergolas is regrettable, as they were conceived to be enjoyed by all residents of the Apthorp. Their one-of-a-kind views of Broadway and the Hudson River are now solely afforded for those who can afford to purchase the new units.

When the Apthorp was completed in 1908, it was a finished work of art. While HDC is disappointed that new construction has been allowed to be built atop an intact, architectural gem, we congratulate advocates on their dedicated stewardship and vigilance which resulted in a much less intrusive plan. The work doesn’t stop after a building is landmarked. The Apthorp exemplifies the importance of public participation in ensuring the continuity of protecting our City’s architectural heritage.

Category: Blog, E-bulletin · Tags: ,

HDC@LPC – August 12, 2014

Posted by on Friday, August 8, 2014 · Leave a Comment 

Item 2
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF QUEENS
159764- Block 8037, lot 11-
320 Beverly Road – Douglaston Historic District
A Colonial Revival style freestanding house designed by John C.W. Cadoo and Henry M. Meloney and a garage both built in 1922. Application is to demolish a garage.

Item 2_320 Beverly Road_2_edited

At first glance, HDC finds it appropriate to demolish the garage. That said, the Committee was unable to fully evaluate this application as there is no proposal for what, if anything, will replace the garage. Before approving this application, HDC asks the Commission to consider the intention of this demolition. If a new structure will replace the current garage, we ask the Commission to consider repair rather than demolition.

APPROVED

 

Item 3
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF BROOKLYN
156014- Block 1964, lot 15-
121 St. James Place – Clinton Hill Historic District
An Italianate style rowhouse built c. 1867. Application is to modify window openings on the rear facade.

Item 3_121 St. James Place_6_edited

HDC found the double-height windows a significant departure to this intact rowhouse, and the Committee suggests finding a more appropriate solution which will set a precedent for rear façade alterations in the Clinton Hill Historic District. Moving forward, we also ask that the railing chosen for the rear deck possess a closer design relationship to the proposed fenestration.

APPROVED

 

Item 6
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF BROOKLYN
158556- Block 321, lot 40-
132 Kane Street and 6-8 Cheever Place – Cobble Hill Historic District
A rowhouse built c. 1850 and a neo-Grec style residence built in the mid-19th century. Application is to replace storefronts.

Item 6_132 Kane Street_2_edited

Historic storefronts within modest buildings are a defining feature of the Cobble Hill Historic District, and HDC applauds the return of historic elements like the wooden, paneled bulkheads to these storefronts. In that vein, the Committee found it regrettable that the recessed entry will be eliminated at the Kane Street location and we ask for this doorway to be preserved.

APPROVED

 

Item 7
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF BROOKLYN
151126- Block 1209, lot 9-
1402 Pacific Street – Crown Heights North Historic District
A Renaissance Revival style apartment building designed by the Parfitt Brothers and built c.1905. Application is to legalize the installation of a security camera installed without Landmarks Preservation Commission permits.

Item 7_1402 Pacific Street_edited

HDC feels that this black-colored security camera draws much attention to itself as it rests within a buff colored brick belt course. This unfortunate placement of the camera and its unsightly conduit could have been avoided if the applicant had filed for a LPC permit.

LAID OVER

Item 10
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN
155886- Block 613, lot 61-
1 Perry Street – Greenwich Village Historic District
A Greek Revival style residence built in 1844-45. Application is to install rooftop mechanical equipment.

Item 10_1 Perry Street_4_edited

HDC appreciates that different options for locations of rooftop mechanical equipment were provided. Upon review, our Committee prefers option A, or locating the mechanicals adjacent to the building, rather than on its roof. Rooftop bulk will detract from this building’s profile and its prominent, rounded cornice.

APPROVED

 

Public Meeting Item 7
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN
151248, Block 527, Lot 2-
4 Bedford Street – Greenwich Village Historic District Extension II
An altered Federal style rowhouse built in 1828-29. Application is to construct a new front facade,construct a rear yard addition and rooftop bulkhead, and replace windows.

4 Bedford_edited

HDC is glad that this building will receive the attention it deserves, as it is in a deplorable structural condition. HDC asks that during this restoration, the applicant pay close attention to historic details. These include restoring the base to the correct marble material, not limestone, and ensuring the brick bond is accurate.

APPROVED WITH MODIFICATIONS

 

 

Category: HDC@LPC · Tags: , , , , , ,

Preservation School

Posted by on Friday, August 8, 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.

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.

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. Olivia and Chris Brazee will provide an overview of the city’s building types and distinguishing features.

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.

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. Speaker (TBA) will illuminate what zoning and changes in zoning regulations mean for your community’s historic built environment.

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


Preservation School



For questions, please contact Brigid Harmon at 212-614-9107 or bharmon@hdc.org

Category: Featured · Tags:

Tear Down the Chrysler Building?

Posted by on Thursday, August 7, 2014 · Leave a Comment 

City Land
Commentary  •  Anthony C. Wood

Over 50 years ago New York City was losing its beloved landmarks (Pennsylvania Station, the Brokaw Mansion, the Savoy-Plaza being only a few on that long list) and facing the bleak prospect of losing even more. Finally after decades of civic advocacy, creative thinking, and painful losses, there was enough political will to create our Landmarks Law. Not intended to save every threatened landmark but to create a system to ensure none were lost that could be saved, that law has done a magnificent job giving the city a public process to help shape the future of the city. Now we need to create a process to allow the city to “curate” its skyline.

Click Here To Read The Full Article

Category: Special Blog · Tags: , , ,

North Brother Island: An Illustrated Book Talk

Posted by on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 · Leave a Comment 

North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City

An Illustrated Book Talk

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Doors open at 6:00/Talk starts at 7:00

The Paris Café119 South Street (at Peck Slip)

Join us for a visual exploration of the one place most New Yorkers will never get to explore on their own. Photographer Christopher Payne will present a book talk on his recently published North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City

In 1902 famed social commentator Jacob Riis, writing about North Brother Island, which then housed the Riverside Hospital said, “Today, where once was a waste of sand, are broad and shaded lawns; winding, well-kept walks, trees, shrubs and flowers; handsome, substantial buildings and hospital pavilions or ward.” Later in his article observing the differences in smallpox hospitals in Europe
compared to this institution on North Brother Island, he noted that the “isolation secured in New York is absolute.” And though the island, 20 acres stranded in the middle of the East River, would see decades of activity both positive and tragic, this absolute isolation, even with vast transportation advancements citywide, would be the reason why the island was abandoned to nature by the middle of the 20th century.

 

Photographer Christopher Payne was granted permission by the city to photograph the island and its ruined structures, and the result is North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City. The book tells the story of the island; its thriving years, its connection to a number of infamous events and people, and recent decades when vegetation has consumed the now crumbling buildings. The book includes photography by Mr. Payne, a history of the island by University of Pennsylvania professor and preservationist Randall Mason, and an essay by author Robert Sullivan.

N-Brother Island-640

Program is free and open to the public, but reservations are required.
To register, please call 212-614-9107 or email bharmon@hdc.org.

*Food and drinks will be available for purchase
The Paris Café, first opened in 1873, was frequented by such personages as Thomas Edison and Theodore Roosevelt, and was nearly closed after sustaining damage from Superstorm Sandy.
 

This program is being co-sponsored by Fordham University Press
FUP

 

 

Category: Program & Events · Tags:

It’s What is on the Inside that Counts: EverGreene Architectural Arts Studio Tour and Presentation

Posted by on Monday, August 4, 2014 · 2 Comments 

Join HDC for a studio tour and presentation

by EverGreene Architectural Arts

While building exteriors are often the most lauded architectural features and contribute to the sense of urbanism that defines New York City, the interior of these historic buildings-the murals, decorative paint, ornamental plaster, gilding and other unique specialty finishes- make them even more spectacular and distinctive. These decorative arts, often the most significant and character-defining part of a historic building, grace the interiors of worship spaces, schools, museums, theaters, commercial, residential and government buildings, many dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Continuing the Historic Districts Council’s investigation of historic materials, this program will look at the extensive work, creativity and knowledge of materials that is required to preserve these decorative interiors. Join HDC for a studio tour and presentation by EverGreene Architectural Arts.

The program will visit the working studio of one of the most well-regarded architectural arts firms in North America. Attendees will be able to view the hands-on work being undertaken by EverGreene artisans to restore and, at times, remake crucial interior features. The program will also include a presentation by EverGreene staff to discuss the process of architectural arts projects, including working with architects and clients, developing historic color palettes, combining historic and modern materials, and options regarding replacement materials.

Afterconservationandrestoration-425x425  Ceiling-after-conservation-425x425Thurgood-Courtroom-crop

 

      from left to right: Eldridge Street Synagogue, Chrysler Building Lobby, Thurgood Marshall Courthouse

 

 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 

3:45 PM- Check-in 

 4:00-6:00 PM-Studio Tour and Program  

at 

EverGreene Architectural Arts

450 West 31st Street, 7th Floor

Fee:  

Public-$60   

Friends of HDC/VSA members-$50 

 

 

2 AIA Approved LU/HSW Credits/2 NY State Licensing Credits

 

 

For more information or to RSVP please contact bharmon@hdc.org

This program is co-sponsored by

 


Decorative Architectural Arts



Category: Education, Featured, Interior Landmark, Materials, Restoration · Tags:

HDC@LPC – August 5, 2014

Posted by on Monday, August 4, 2014 · Leave a Comment 

Item 1
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF QUEENS
158868- Block 8039, lot 22-
112 Manor Road – Douglaston Historic District
A Colonial Revival style house designed by William Welles Knowles and built in 1910. Application is to enclose and enlarge a porch, construct a below-grade garage, and install a curb cut.

Item 1_112 Manor Road_5

 

Item 1_112 Manor Road_6

Since porches are a typical feature in Douglaston, HDC would prefer to see this one retain more of its sunroom character. If its size remained at just half-way across the west elevation, it could be enclosed in a way that maintains its language as a porch. HDC finds the curb cut to be appropriate, but feels that the garage, since it will project outward by six feet, is too heavy an intervention. A freestanding garage would be a more appropriate solution.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Item 2
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF QUEENS
144585- Block 8059, lot 25-
233-33 38th Drive – Douglaston Historic District
A vacant lot created by a sub-division. Application is to construct a new house.

Item 2_233-33 38th Drive_8

HDC generally finds the design of this new house to be contextual to the Douglaston Historic District. However, the monumental scale of the double-height, corner columns gives the structure an institutional, rather than residential, character. If scaled down and produced of wood, rather than plaster, HDC could find them a more appropriate component of the design.

LPC determination: No Action

 

Item 5
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF BROOKLYN
158219- Block 1159, lot 82-
285 Park Place – Prospect Heights Historic District
A Renaissance Revival style rowhouse designed by William H. Reynolds and built in 1898. Application is to alter the bay window and construct a new deck at the rear.

Item 5-285 Park Place

In the designation report for this district, the rear window bays are specifically called out as an intact feature of this row. HDC feels that the proposed bay redesign on 285 Park Place, with its steel casement windows, reflects a style more fitting for the early 20th century, rather than the late 19th century, and would prefer to see the current one refurbished or recreated in sheet metal. Our committee also found the color scheme to be problematic, as the black paint would obscure some of the rear façade’s nice details, such as the cornice and the panels on the bay window, while calling too much attention to non-decorative details, such as the drainage pipes along the eastern edge of the house. The committee also found that the rear deck, which seems unnecessarily fancy for a rear façade, protrudes quite far into the rear yard.

LPC determination: No Action

 

Item 7
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN
152081- Block 474, lot 7506-
40 Mercer Street – SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District
A steel-and-glass building designed by Atelier Jean Nouvel and built in c. 2006. Application is to alter granite sidewalk.

Edited_Item 16-40 Mercer

HDC commends the applicant for their sensitive, creative solution to this sidewalk renovation. Elements like granite sidewalks retain the luster characteristic of historic districts, and we would like to see this trend followed when making repairs to historic paving.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Item 8
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN
158917- Block 510, lot 6-
284 Lafayette Street – SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District Extension
A neo-Grec style factory building designed by John R. Thomas and built in 1891-1892. Application is to remove vault light covers and to install diamond plate steel plate at the sidewalk.

Item 8_284 Lafayette_3

Replacing the existing diamond plate with new diamond plate is not in itself a bad solution. However, there is an opportunity here to return this sidewalk to its historic condition with the reintroduction of vault lights, a feature seen throughout much of the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District. As always, HDC would love to see the return of vault lights, which are manufactured by Circle Redmont in Melbourne, Florida, and elsewhere.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Item 15
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN
153736- Block 640, lot 50-
340 West 12th Street – Greenwich Village Historic District
An Italianate style rowhouse built 1859-60. Application is to construct a rooftop addition, alter the rear façade, and perform excavation.

Item 15_340 W 12_3

Item 15_340 W 12_7

HDC commends the restoration of this rowhouse’s front elevation, including the cornice, stoop and installation of functional shutters. As the rooftop addition is not visible from the street, our committee did not find it objectionable. We would ask, though, that the applicant consider retaining more of the historic fenestration on the rear’s second floor, which, as rendered, appears quite grand in the amount of proposed glazing. As always, HDC also asks that great care be taken in the excavation of the rear yard, so as not to disturb neighboring buildings and foundations.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Item 19
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN
157562- Block 1124, lot 46-
20 West 72nd Street – Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District
A neo-Renaissance style apartment hotel designed by Herbert J. Krapp and built 1925. Application is to install storefront infill.

Item 19_20 W 72

HDC finds the proposed storefront infill to be a great improvement over the existing. The light fixtures gave us pause, though, as they seem to echo those found on a late 19th century building, like The Dakota, rather than this 1925 building. Our committee asks that the applicant reconsider the gas lights in favor of fixtures that would be more appropriate to this building’s construction date.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Public Meeting Item 1
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN
157602- Block 10, lot 1-
33 Peck Slip – South Street Seaport Historic District
A group of five commercial buildings built between 1851 and 1856. Application is to install awnings, light fixtures, and railings, and remove a landing platform.

33 Peck Slip_2

HDC finds this storefront renovation a welcome improvement to the South Street Seaport. Our committee found the painted wooden signage and lighting particularly nice touches. We wondered, though, if the number of light fixtures on the piers could be reduced so that they do not clutter the bases of these mid-19th century buildings.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Public Meeting Item 2
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN
157715- Block 97, lot 49-
233 Water Street – South Street Seaport Historic District
A two-story structure built in the mid-twentieth century. Application is to alter façades, replace windows and doors, and install rooftop mechanical equipment and a fence.

233 Water St_4

HDC supports the adaptive reuse of this fishing industry building and commends the applicant for preserving existing openings, including the location of the former loading dock and window openings. That said, the committee suggests choosing a more transparent fence set back at the building’s termination.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Public Meeting Item 3
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN
149952- Block 545, lot 37-
434 Lafayette Street – Individual Landmark, NoHo Historic District
A Greek Revival style townhouse with a two-story Corinthian colonnade, attributed to Seth Geer, and built in 1832-33. Application is to install a marquee, signage and lighting.

434 Lafayette

This application is before the Commission today because of an expired Certificate of Appropriateness. Certificates of Appropriateness have expiration dates in order to provide the opportunity to reconsider a proposed project and, perhaps, to come up with a better scheme. The proposed signage, marquee and lighting is a similar iteration of what currently exists, and HDC feels that this is a lost opportunity to create something more handsome for this building, which is part of the very notable Colonnade Row.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Public Meeting Item 4
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN
157515- Block 531, lot 7504-
380 Lafayette Street – Individual Landmark, NoHo Historic District
A Romanesque Revival style store and loft building designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh and built in 1888. Application is to replace doors.

380 Lafayette

HDC applauds this sensitive and thoughtful door replacement. The materials employed, including decorative ironwork and wood are an enhancement to this building. Stylistically, the materials and design are compatible with the heaviness and monumentality inherent in Romanesque Revival style architecture.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Public Meeting Item 5
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN
158496- Block 529, lot 25-
31 Bond Street – NoHo Extension Historic District
A Renaissance Revival style store and loft building designed by DeLemos & Cordes and built in 1888-1889. Application is to alter the ground floor, install storefront infill, replace windows, construct a new rear façade and rooftop addition, and excavate the cellar.

31 Bond St_3

HDC finds the storefront proposal an improvement and the retention and restoration of the pinwheel windows laudable. While the ground floor succeeds, the rooftop is another matter. Seemingly innocuous, the rooftop bulk will be highly visible on this building of only six stories from the alleyway and low-scale building at Lafayette and Bleecker Streets. HDC asks that the addition and equipment be reduced and reconfigured to lessen their visual impact.

LPC determination: No Action

 

Public Meeting Item 6
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN
153774- Block 608, lot 13-
152 West 13th Street – Greenwich Village Historic District
A Greek Revival style rowhouse built in 1846. Application is to construct rooftop and rear yard additions, and replace windows.

152 W 13 St

This little 1846 house becomes lost in these cumulative accretions. It seems to be a case of, what a former Commissioner used to describe as asking too much from a little house. HDC asks that the full-width rear yard and rooftop additions both be reduced so that the historic house’s original character is retained.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Public Meeting Item 7
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN
158983- Block 1265, lot 7501-
30 Rockefeller Plaza – Individual Landmark and Interior Landmark
A two-story Art Deco style skyscraper lobby designed by the Associated Architects and built in 1931-33 as part of an Art Deco style office, commercial and entertainment complex, which comprises the Rockefeller Center Individual Landmark. Application is to create signage vitrines within storefront windows, and apply a decorative finish to the ceiling, at the mezzanine.

Item 25_30 Rock_3_edited

HDC finds the storefront vitrines appropriate, noting the historic commercial nature of this Individual Landmark and this area of Manhattan. 30 Rock already has a decorative finish on its interior, so much so that it is a designated Interior Landmark. HDC feels that this iconic interior should be left alone; its existing panache does not beckon competition.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Public Meeting Item 8
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN
127232- Block 1501, lot 11-
15 East 90th Street – Individual Landmark
A neo-Federal style house designed by Mott B. Schmidt and built in 1927-28. Application is to legalize façade work performed without Landmarks Preservation Commission permits.

Item 30_15 E 90 St_3

HDC’s Public Review Committee urges the applicant to explore alternative solutions to rectify the deterioration of the stone on this individually landmarked building. Its architect, Mott Schmidt, designed numerous notable buildings for families such as the Astors, the Morgans and the Vanderbilts, and this house deserves its marble to be repaired, not painted over.

LPC determination: Approved

Category: HDC@LPC · Tags: , , , , , , ,

Preservation in the News

Posted by on Thursday, July 24, 2014 · 1 Comment 

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.

Click here to read the whole article

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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.”

Click here to read the whole article

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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.

Click here to read the whole article

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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.”

Click here to read the whole article

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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.

Click here to read the whole article

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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.

Click here to read the whole article

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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.

Click here to read the whole article

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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].”

Click here to read the whole article

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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.

Click here to read the whole article

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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.”

Click here to read the whole story

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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.

Click here to read the whole story

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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.

Click here to read the whole article

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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.”

Click here to read the whole article

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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.

Click here to read the full story

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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.

Click here to read the full story

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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.

Click here to read the full story

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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.

Click here to read the full article

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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.

Click here to read the full article

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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.

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Category: Featured · Tags: , , ,

Historic Pub Crawl- Pictures

Posted by on Monday, July 21, 2014 · Leave a Comment 

The Historic Districts Council and Chrysalis Archeological Consultants  led a tour  of the architecture, history and beverages of some of New York City’s oldest watering holes. The tour  began with a tasting of Chrysalis bitters at the Merchant’s House, brewed from an historic recipe and inspired by a 19th century bottle recently found at a Bowery archaeological site, which promised to be an “Elixir of Long Life.” The tour then continued up third Avenue to McSorley’s, Pete’s Tavern and Old Town.

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

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