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



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




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

Defending Historic Preservation in New York City

PS 31 - The Castle

The since-demolished P.S. 31, “The Castle of the Grand Concourse”

Historic preservation as both a strategy and as a philosophy is under attack as never before.

Although community advocates have achieved some big successes in recent years by gaining long-sought landmark designations and thwarting (or at least modifying) destructive proposals to historic buildings, the Real Estate Board of New York (“REBNY”), the principal lobbyist for organized real estate, has been relentless in its campaign to undermine the Landmarks Law and all community preservation efforts.

Emboldened by years of record growth, REBNY is 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. 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 designates and regulates historic properties. To hear them tell it, landmark designation transforms New York into a lifeless museum city with a “look but don’t touch” mentality.

The Historic Districts Council (“HDC”) feels that nothing could be further from the truth. 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.

HDC 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.

The threat to preservation laws and historic buildings is still very real. HDC will continue counter arguing REBNY as long as they continue to release studies based on lies  and misconceptions. 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



  • Articles and Media Coverage: Preservation and the Battle to Preserve It



 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.

Secret Lives Tour: The Gardens of Jackson Heights


October 15, 2016

11 am

Jackson Heights in Queens was the first Garden Community and continues to be the largest in the United States. These garden style apartments, detached and semi-detached houses were built as an answer to the crowded slums of Manhattan. The Queensboro Corporation successfully campaigned to have the subway extended through Jackson Heights and built up the area during the early 20th century. The large apartment buildings take up entire blocks with interior courtyards not accessible to the public. These gardens are what made Jackson Heights so unique and appealing, and continue to be a draw today. The picturesque residences were designed in Georgian, Tudor, Gothic, Italian Renaissance and Spanish Romanesque styles. Decorative brickwork, loggias and slate roofs are quintessential design elements found in the architecture. Institutional and commercial buildings were produced to match the residential. HDC named Jackson Heights one of its Six to Celebrate neighborhoods in 2011.

A section of Jackson Heights was designated as a New York City Historic District in 1993,  unfortunately not all the architecturally worthy building were included in the district. Local Queens advocates such as the Jackson Heights Beautification Group (JHBG) have been campaigning to have the district extended. Join HDC and memebers of the JHBG on October 15th as we explore beautiful Jackson Heights, view the interior gardens and lean how to become involved in the preservation of the neighborhood.

General Admission $40

Friends / Seniors $30


Preservation School 2016

Posted by on Friday, August 19, 2016 · Leave a Comment 

pres school

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, serve on your local community board or just want to learn about the built environment of your city, these classes will provide you with knowledge and vocabulary about historic preservation practice in New York City. The classes are designed to cover the basics over four sessions to give participants an overall understanding of such topics as land use planning and building types in New York City, and instruct hands-on skills, including how to read architectural drawings and how to best research and photograph buildings.


Thursday, October 6:

Preservation 101 & Basics of Land Use Planning in NYC

This introductory course will begin with an overview of the various regulations and funding mechanisms used to preserve historic buildings in New York City. The second part of the session will familiarize participants with the broader umbrella under which preservation falls: land use planning. This section will cover New York City’s governing structure, how zoning works and New York City’s Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP).

Instructor: Tara Kelly


Thursday, October 13:

Architectural Photography & Social Media for Preservation Campaigns

Historic Preservation is first and foremost a visual field. This session will cover two important topics pertaining to marketing and messaging. The first part will provide tips and tricks to improve your photos of buildings and streetscapes in order to maximize their impact. The second part will teach participants how to harness the power of social media to enhance preservation campaigns, build a constituency and sound a call-to-action. Participants will leave with practical strategies to better manage their organizational “brand” and drive traffic to social media profiles and websites.  Instructors: Lynn Massimo & Cristiana Peña

Instructors: Lynn Massimo & Cristiana Peña


Thursday, October 20:   Reading Architectural Drawings & Overview of Common NYC Building Materials

Architectural drawings and renderings illustrate the often complicated design and construction plans for proposed building projects. The first part of this session will teach participants how to evaluate such documents in order to understand and analyze an upcoming construction project. The second part of the session will provide an overview of common building materials used in New York City, including terra-cotta, brick, brownstone, concrete and much more. The session will explain how these materials are employed, how to identify them, and “scratch the surface” on their maintenance and conservation.

Instructors: Dan Allen & Brendan Coburn


Thursday, October 27:   NYC Architectural Styles & How to Research Buildings

The first part of this session will focus on common architectural styles and building types found in New York City’s historic built environment, and instruct participants on how to identify them by their distinguishing features. The second part of the session will guide participants on tools and strategies for researching buildings in New York City, including various repositories and document types. Learn the basics of how to investigate the origins and stories behind historic properties.

Instructor: Gregory Dietrich




$15 each or $50 for all 4 classes

Scholarships available

please contact Barbara Zay at


Classes will take place at:

Neighborhood Preservation Center

232 East 11 Street

New York, NY 10003




Category: Featured, Program & Events · Tags:

Secret Lives Tour- Hendrick I. Lott House

Posted by on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 · Leave a Comment 

The Historic Districts Council is being granted exclusive access to the Lott House built in 1720/1800

Lott House

September 10, 2016

1940 East 36th Street, Brooklyn


The Historic Districts Council is being granted exclusive access to the Hendrick I. Lott House. The Lott House is currently being restored and is not open to the public. This vernacular Dutch American Farmhouse was built in 1720/1800 and remained in the family until New York City purchased it in 2000, making it the longest continual ownership by a single family in NYC. The interior craftsmanship is a result of Hendrick Lott’s carpentry skills. Unfortunately the interior has yet to be restored and is currently in a state of ‘preserved ruin’. HDC Board Director and President of Chrysalis Archaeology Consultants, Alyssa Loorya will guide us around the house and explain what work has been completed and what the future plans are. Restoration of the Lott House is a joint effort of the City of New York/Parks & Recreation, Historic House Trust of New York City, Marine Park Civic Association, and Hendrick I. Lott House Preservation Association.

The tour will begin at the Kings Highway B,Q subway station where HDC will provide transportation to the Lott House.


*Note – the house isn’t wheelchair accessible at the moment, sorry for the inconvenience

Category: Featured, Program & Events, secret lives · Tags: , , ,

20th Century Bronx

Posted by on Thursday, August 11, 2016 · Leave a Comment 


Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 6PM

 Bronx Civic Center/ Executive Towers

Join the Historic Districts Council as we explore the past, present, and future of the Bronx Civic Center’s magnificent range of 20th Century architecture!

Guests will first be treated to a brisk walk with Adrian Untermyer, Deputy Director of the Historic Districts Council, with stops at the Art Deco Bronx County Building, the Grand Concourse Historic District, two Urban Renewal-era housing developments, and more.

Guests will then be treated to an intimate walk-through of the Grand Concourse’s mid-century Executive Towers with architect and Historic Districts Council Board Member Françoise Bollack, who is currently coordinating the lobby’s restoration and reconfiguration. Designed by architect Philip Birnbaum between 1959 and 1963, Executive Towers was touted in real estate brochures as “the first luxury skyscraper in the Bronx.”

The evening will conclude with wine and conversation in a high-floor apartment in the Executive Towers featuring exquisite views of the neighborhood.

$20 General Admission and $10 for Friends of the Historic Districts Council


Visit to become a Friend and unlock discounted pricing.

Exact meeting point will be provided via email after registration.

Category: Program & Events · Tags:

Introducing Our Infographic!

Posted by on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 · 2 Comments 

Learn how historic preservation creates jobs, drives tourism, and supports local economies across NYC.

Preserving historic buildings and neighborhoods is good for New York City.

Most New Yorkers believe this to be true in their hearts, but it is sometimes helpful to have the facts to back it up. In response, the Historic Districts Council created a series of infographics entitled “How Historic Preservation Benefits New York City.”

The graphics have a simple message: as part of New York City’s multi-billion dollar tourism trade, a generator of good jobs and an attractive option for affordable housing, landmark buildings and historic districts are a positive force for the financial well-being of the city.

Based on the expansive 2014 report “A Proven Success: How the New York City Landmarks Law and Process Benefit the City,” the infographics consolidate critical facts and figures to demonstrate the value of historic preservation in our city.

We invite you to review the infographics below, and encourage you to take the #PreservationPays challenge to spread the word — and be entered to win a trip to the Woolworth Tower Residences!


Preserving buildings and providing affordable housing are not mutually exclusive. Landmark designation does not dictate the use of a building and certainly does not impede redevelopment of a property into affordable housing. Furthermore, there has been no provable correlation to suggest that rent increases are a result of landmark designation.


New York’s remarkable historic buildings are a unique attraction. Upwards of 54 million tourists visited New York City in 2013, spending more than $38 million dollars in the process. Tourists are drawn to our city for its rich culture, distinctive built environment, and historic shopping districts.


Maintaining New York’s distinct sense of place is a full time job for many New Yorkers. Construction on historic buildings results in more and better paying jobs than new construction and secures federal tax credit dollars. Historic hotels, museums, restaurants, and parks are a staple in New York City and maintain thousands of good-paying jobs.



We encourage you to use the infographic to help familiarize yourself with the facts, spread the word, join the effort, and enjoy your city!

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Category: Featured · Tags:

Take the #PreservationPays Challenge

Posted by on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 · Leave a Comment 

Explore New York and you could win HDC’s new social media competition – and a once-in-a-lifetime trip!

The Historic Districts Council, Sotheby’s International Realty, and Gothamist announce the #PreservationPays Challenge, a competition to showcase our new infographic featuring the benefits of historic preservation in New York City!

Five lucky winners will be treated to a private tour of the Woolworth Tower Residences in Lower Manhattan led by Historic Districts Council Adviser and official Woolworth Building Historian Lisa Renz. This tour, which is supported by Sotheby’s International Realty, is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tour this iconic landmark.

Learn more about “How Historic Preservation Benefits New York City

The #PreservationPays challenge is free and open to all. To be entered in the drawing:

  1. Snap a photo of yourself in front of all six buildings named in the infographic, as well as the Woolworth Building in Lower Manhattan. The six buildings can be found in the infographic slides below.
  2. Post each photo on either Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #PreservationPays and tag the Historic Districts Council (@hdcnyc on Instagram and @hdc_nyc on Twitter) before 11:59 PM on Tuesday, September 6th

Good Luck!

About the Buildings


Washington Square Park, Manhattan  |  A C E B D F M to W 4th St – Washington Sq

Designed by noted architect Stanford White and modeled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, this 77-foot-tall triumphal arch was built in 1892 to celebrate the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration as the first President of the United States.



881 7th Avenue, Manhattan  |  N Q R to 57th St – 7th Ave

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice – and look for its rich façade of Roman brick, brownstone and terra cotta! This world-famous concert hall is celebrated for its impeccable acoustics – some of the best in the city.


736 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn  |  2 3 4 5 to Franklin Ave

This lively neighborhood restaurant draws a broad array of patrons with its captivating brick façades and whimsical storefront.


10 South Street, Manhattan  |  1 to South Ferry or R to Whitehall St

The launching point for ferries to Governor’s Island, this Beaux-Arts beauty also serves as an architectural touchstone in lower Manhattan. Featuring cast-iron elements and Guastavino tilework, this New York City Landmark was restored in 2005 using historic preservation tax credits.


33-52 81st St, Queens  |  7 to 82nd St – Jackson Heights

Home to one of the most magnificent groupings of apartment buildings in the city, this Queens enclave also boasts great restaurants, tree-lined streets, and a charming commercial spine. It was designated a New York City Historic District in 1993.


500 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn  |  A C to Nostrand Ave

This castle-like, highly-ornamented New York City Landmark was designed in a combination of the Romanesque Revival and Queen Anne styles and completed in 1890.  It was restored in 1998 after a disastrous fire in 1994, and now contains 46 units of affordable housing and is a prime example of how historic preservation and affordable housing can work together to superior and inspiring effect.


2 Park Place, Manhattan  |  2 3 to Park Place or R to City Hall

More than a century after the start of its construction, Cass Gilbert’s neo-Gothic masterpiece remains, at 792 feet, one of New York City’s most iconic skyscrapers.



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Category: Featured, Special Blog · Tags: , , ,

Meet Our New Advisers!

Posted by on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 · Leave a Comment 

The Historic Districts Council would like to introduce the newest additions to our Board of Advisers               |
The Historic Districts Council’s small professional staff is directed by our dedicated Board of Directors & Advisers, whose members represent over two dozen historic neighborhoods and are drawn from the fields of architecture, education, history, marketing, law, design, public relations, journalism and community activism.

We invite you to scroll down to learn about the latest additions to our team:


ANGELAngel Ayón is the founder of AYON Studio Architecture and Preservation. He is trained and experienced as an architect and a preservationist in both his native Havana and New York City. Mr. Ayón holds a professional degree in Architecture and a M.Sc. in Conservation and Rehabilitation of the Built Heritage from Havana’s Higher Polytechnic Institute, as well as a Post-Graduate Certificate in Conservation of Historic Buildings and Archaeological Sites from Columbia University. He is a former Fitch Foundation Fellow, was the leading advocate in the campaign to rehabilitate the Mount Morris Fire Watchtower in Marcus Garvey Park, and is the Vice-President of Save Harlem Now!.


PETER_UPDATEDPeter Bray is Executive Director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, an organization dedicated to preserving the physical fabric of the neighborhood and informing and advocating for residents and businesses on matters affecting the community. Mr. Bray also serves as a Trustee of the Park Slope Civic Council and has led the committee overseeing the expansion of the Park Slope Historic District.


CHRISTIANChristian Emanuel is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with Sotheby’s International Realty, working in the office of Stan Ponte. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Emanuel was a brokerage manager and founding-level agent of a startup brokerage in Manhattan. Also active in the preservation community, he helped lead the campaign to preserve the Long Island City Clocktower and worked closely with the Historic Districts Council under the auspices of our Six to Celebrate program. Mr. Emanuel is a graduate of New York University.


DANDaniel Karatzas is a Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker with the Beaudoin Realty Group as well as a board member and former president of the Jackson Heights Beautification Group. Mr. Karatzas is the author of Jackson Heights – A Garden in the City, which chronicles the history of Jackson Heights and its unique contribution to urban planning history. He holds Engineering and Business degrees from Columbia University, and worked with the Historic Districts Council to advance the preservation of Jackson Heights through our Six to Celebrate program.


RACHELRachel Levy is Executive Director of FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts. A graduate of the historic preservation and urban planning programs at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Historic Preservation, Ms. Levy previously worked with the Park Slope Civic Council, Landmark West!, and the Municipal Art Society. She is currently working with the Historic Districts Council to advance the preservation of Manhattan’s Yorkville neighborhood under the auspices of our Six to Celebrate program.


JOYCE_UPDATEDJoyce Mendelsohn is an educator, historian, and preservation activist. Author of “The Lower East Side Remembered and Revisited,” Ms. Mendelsohn was the first Director of Education at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, served as a consultant to the Historic House Trust, on the Board of Directors of the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy, and is an adviser to the boards of the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative and Bowery Alliance of Neighbors. She is one of three founding member of Friends of the Lower East Side and was awarded the Historic Districts Council’s Mickey Murphy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.


LISA_UPDATEDLisa Renz is a preservationist and architectural historian specializing in nineteenth and early twentieth century American architecture. Ms. Renz holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural History and Theory and earned a Master’s Degree in Historic Preservation from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Historic Preservation. She is currently the official historian and tour guide of the Woolworth Building and previously worked on the restoration of Grace Church in Manhattan.


BRIAN_UPDATEDBrian Scott Weber is a director specializing in television commercials. In addition, Mr. Weber is a member of Manhattan Community Board Four, which encompasses the neighborhoods of Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea. Mr. Weber was also active in the effort to preserve the former Christ Church on West 36th Street in Manhattan.

Please click here for a full list of Directors and Advisers.

Category: Featured · Tags: ,

HDC@LPC – Testimony for LPC Hearing on August 9, 2016

Posted by on Monday, August 8, 2016 · 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.

Item 3
152 Henry Street – Brooklyn Heights Historic District
A Greek Revival style rowhouse built in 1830-39. Application is to construct a rear yard addition, and replace windows.

Project architect: Formactiv Architecture

HDC applauds the return of the stoop and the parlor floor windows, which will reinstall the correct proportions of the façade. We suggest that staff look closely at the details in the stoop, ironwork, and window surrounds of this proposal to make sure that once this façade is fixed, it is done absolutely correctly. In the rear, the Committee thought it would make for a better design if the bulk mirrored the neighbor with a notch cut-out, and regularized the window arrangement: there is a picture window, one story has transoms, the other does not.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications

152 facade exist 152 facade proposed 152 Henry rear existing 152 Henry rear proposed

Item 4
220 Berkley Place – Park Slope Historic District
A brick apartment building designed by Kavy & Kavoritt and built in 1955. Application is to establish a master plan governing the future installation of windows.

Project architect: Rand Engineering & Architecture

The historic rendering of this building provides a compelling argument for the original window configuration. Highly unusual, with horizontal muntins, these windows are the substantial difference between a plain building and one with some design aesthetic. The small divisions in the glass, repeated many times over the façade lend an appearance of horizontality and help reveal the building’s era. HDC understands that many windows have been replaced, and that the building will fare better with a consistent window type. We hope LPC can determine a creative solution to introduce this pattern again, as the rest of the building is devoid of ornament.

LPC determination: Approved

220 Berkely Pl historic 220 Berkely Pl proposed

Item 6
14 St. Luke’s Place – Greenwich Village Historic District
A rowhouse built in 1852-53. Application is to replace windows.

Project architect: BarlisWedlick Architects

While quality windows are proposed for this house, HDC found them to be slightly heavy with some diminution of glazing. Perhaps it is possible to find a custom window with thinner mullions with the desired operation, which would preserve the sightlines.

LPC determination: Approved

14 St. Lukes

Item 8
442 West 22nd Street – Chelsea Historic District
A house built in 1846-47 and later altered. Application is to modify the front façade, construct rear yard additions, and perform excavation.

Project architect: Suk Design Group

HDC is thrilled that this marred façade will be restored to its historic appearance. Projects like this are proof that people want to live in historic homes, and that they are worth restoring back to their original splendor. In terms of the new rear that will be added, HDC consistently suggests leaving the top punched window openings intact on the top story. On the roof, the elevator bulkhead and HVAC is extremely visible because of the situation of the two-story rowhouse next door. In the mock-ups, the bulk of no. 442 seems to actually rest atop its neighbor. In a three story house, building an elevator for a rooftop literally seems over-the-top and unnecessary. HDC strongly suggests preserving the sightlines from 22nd Street over this row of different houses and eliminating any bulk, especially since so much square footage is proposed for the rear.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications

442 West 22nd St exist 442 West 22nd St proposed 442 West 22nd St rear

Item 9
200 Fifth Avenue – Ladies’ Mile Historic District
A neo-Renaissance style store and office building designed by Maynicke and Franke and built in 1908-09. Application is to install sidewalk pavers.

Project architect: Weidlinger Associates

HDC does not support this application, as we found the planters to further confound the clutter on this stretch of Fifth Avenue. On this immediate sidewalk, there are existing planters down the block, a mailbox, a street clock, a newsstand, phonebooths, a subway entrance, and trash receptacles. Collectively, these items form a wall surrounding 200 Fifth Avenue. There are currently perforations in this wall to allow pedestrians to cross the street from the people-saturated Flatiron Plaza and its subsequent food vendors. The proposed planters will essentially fill in these perforations and add to the chaos. We understand that the consultant of this proposal specializes in security, and leads HDC to believe that beatification is not the motivation behind these plants, but rather something more exclusive in nature. With heavy potted plantings and a green vista just across the street in Madison Square Park, these should be eliminated from the sidewalk.

LPC determination: Approved

200 Fifth Ave plan 200 Fifth Ave render

Category: HDC@LPC · Tags:

HDC@LPC – Testimony for LPC Hearing on August 2, 2016

Posted by on Monday, August 1, 2016 · 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.

Item 3
368 Clinton Street – Cobble Hill Historic District
An Italianate style rowhouse built in 1843. Application is to modify the rear facade and rear extension, and install a deck.

Project architect: Frederick Tang Architecture

This applicant has proposed sensitive alterations to the rear, but looking to the future, when the next owner may proposed a rear extension, we ask that the top row of windows be preserved with their punched openings. Perhaps this large window proposed for the top story could be moved to a lower floor. While the deck is not a concern, HDC found the choice of tilt/turn windows unusual and some simple double-hungs would be more appropriate.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications.

LPC approved, but, in unison with HDC will ensure that the top story’s punched windows will remain to preserve a highly uniform row.

368 Clinton exist368 Clinton proposed
Item 4
536 1st Street – Park Slope Historic District
A neo-Renaissance style rowhouse built in 1909.  Application is to construct a rear yard addition.

Project architect: Buro NY

HDC found this addition modest in scale and overall, not a concern. Regarding the glass on the existing extension, one minor comment is that we thought it might look better to retain some of the masonry envelope, even if it were some thin divisions between the panes of glass. 

LPC determination: Approved with modifications.

536 1st St proposed

536 1st St proposed
Item 6
576 Bergen Street – Prospect Heights Historic District
A neo-Grec style rowhouse designed by Benjamin Estes and built c. 1884. Application is to construct rooftop and rear yard additions, alter the areaway and install a railing.

Project architect: Studio a+i

Since this row is comprised of only 2 story homes, any addition is going to impact the rear yards of these neighbors. To that end, HDC asks that the visual impact of this extension be reduced by selecting a sympathetic material to better harmonize with its surroundings. The cement fiber clashes in color and composition, especially when set within large expanses of glass. Punched openings and brick would make for a better extension.  

LPC determination: Approved with modifications.

Neighbors were incensed at what is the first rooftop and rear yard additions to their block since historic district designation. In the end, staff will work to lower the rooftop so that it is not visible.

576 Bergen exist

576 Bergen proposed
Item 8
334 West 20th Street – Chelsea Historic District
A Greek Revival style rowhouse built in 1836. Application is to construct a bulkhead, rooftop and rear yard additions, and excavate the rear yard.

Project architect: Andre Tchelistcheff

Just a week after Chelsea’s oldest house was allowed to be destroyed and its Federal envelope zipped open, here is a speculative proposal to obliterate its Greek Revival counterpart. The LPC designation report describes this as “an excellent example of the first houses built in Chelsea. The 25-foot width shows to advantage the impressive character of the Greek Revival style.”  25 feet unfortunately was evidently not enough, as there is so much bulk proposed for this house we wonder why there wasn’t an addition proposed for the front, as well. In fact, if Commissioners look carefully, the cornice will be raised to accommodate the bulk. Ruining the proportions of the façade to accommodate bulk is the essence of inappropriate. Simply put: accretions to this 1836 property should work for the house, the house shouldn’t work for the additions. Regarding the rest of the home, the historic roof line will be decimated, and so will any historic fabric, including window openings and four stories of 180 year old brick on the rear façade.

If LPC had to rewrite designation reports now for these buildings that are irreversibly altered with preserved facades, would they still be included as excellent examples of buildings of their respective eras? Would we be able to learn from these buildings about how they were put together, with their distinct rooflines, unusual brick bonds, and methods of construction, or would we have to learn these things from a book? The best way to understand the history of our city is to physically encounter it. This proposal destroys that history and robs New York of something precious and irreplaceable.

LPC determination: No Action.

Neighbors came out in droves to protest yet another ancient Chelsea home fallen victim to tasteless aggrandization. The Chair stated that the enlargement was “overwhelming this building and its age…it’s delicate.” The Commission also wished to see the restorative elements checked with staff. So, LPC took no action and this project will come back. If 404 West 20th’s approval is any indication of what to expect to be appropriate by the Commission, we expect the additions to be scaled down but still effectually destroying the house.

334 W 20 historic

334 W 20 proposed facade334 W 20 proposed

Item 14
1150 Fifth Avenue – Carnegie Hill Extension Historic District
A neo-Georgian style brick apartment building designed by J.E.R. Carpenter and built in 1923-24. Application is to construct a rooftop addition.

Project architect: no name on drawings

This J.E.R. Carpenter apartment building already has a 2-story penthouse on top of it, and HDC understands  that the building is currently built to its zoning capacity and will need a special permit to allow more bulk. Even if this wasn’t the case, this addition is clumsy and EIFS does not have a reputation for being a quality, long-lasting material. The proposed addition doesn’t match the uniform roofline, and hovers over it. For all of the consideration and design that goes in to most penthouse additions in this part of town, this bulk falls short in terms of appropriateness, visibility and quality of architecture. 

Project architect: no name listed

LPC determination: Approved with modifications

LPC has asked the applicant to change the material from EIFS to brick.

1150 Park proposed penthouse1150 Park proposed

Category: HDC@LPC · Tags:

HDC@LPC – Testimony for LPC Hearing on July 26, 2016

Posted by on Monday, July 25, 2016 · 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.


Item 6

241 West 11th Street – Greenwich Village Historic District


A Greek Revival style rowhouse with Italianate style features, designed by Reuben R. Wood and built in 1851. Application is to legalize the construction of rear yard and rooftop additions in non-compliance with Certificate of Appropriateness 14-4486.

Project architect: MADE

HDC feels that the applicant should be asked to construct these additions according to the original Certificate of Appropriateness permit. To approve the present condition of this rowhouse would be to undermine the time and consideration the Commission previously gave to this project and set a standard for allowing applicants to disrespect this body’s expertise and authority.

LPC Determination: No Action

The Commission approved a proposal for a rear yard addition on this rowhouse back in 2014, but mid-construction, the owners hired a new architect who made significant changes without clearing them with the LPC. So, the applicant sought to legalize these changes. The Commissioners were not pleased, since the changes were not only significant, but much worse. They expressed strong emotions, calling it disturbing, a violation of the Landmarks Law and an insult to the Commission. One even suggested that the LPC impose bans or other penalties on applicants who knowingly circumvent the rules. The Chair decided that LPC General Counsel will need to explore the proposal over issues concerning DOB permits and how to proceed with potentially legalizing some aspects of the work and not others.

241 W. 11th-prev approved

241 W. 11th-proposed


Item 13

347 West End Avenue – West End Collegiate Historic District


An Eclectic Renaissance style rowhouse designed by Lamb and Rich and built in 1891. Application is to construct rear yard and rooftop additions and modify masonry openings.

Project architect: Architecture In Formation

HDC wishes to make a plea for the retention of the rear configuration that this building shares with its twin next door. The unified rear on these two buildings appears to be a formal construct that would be a shame to lose.

LPC Determination: Approved with modifications

347 West End Avenue-1

347 West End Avenue-3


Item 15

17-19 East 72nd Street – Upper East Side Historic District


A Modern/neo-Classical style apartment building designed by Rosario Candela and built in 1936-37. Application is to replace windows and install awnings and signage.

Item 16

17-19 East 72nd Street – Upper East Side Historic District


A Modern/neo-Classical style apartment building designed by Rosario Candela and built in 1936-37. Application is to request that the Landmarks Preservation Commission issue a report to the City Planning Commission relating to an application for Special Permit pursuant to Section 74-711 of the Zoning Resolution for a Modification of Use.

Project architect: PBDW Architects

While commercial spaces are commonplace along Madison Avenue, this section of East 72nd Street is residential in character, and this proposal would represent an odd departure from that existing architectural language. This shift would be more acceptable, however, if the proposed awnings and sign were guaranteed not to obscure any of the ribbon moldings of the masonry on this fine Rosario Candela building. HDC also wishes to note that much of the proposed restorative work to be performed in exchange for this change of use seems to represent only the minimum of repairs that building management would undertake on a normal basis, making the Special Permit application difficult to justify. Perhaps avoiding any obstruction of the building’s architectural details would be a good place to start.

LPC Determination: Approved

17-19 East 72nd Street-1

17-19 East 72nd Street-2


Item 18

7 East 84th Street – Metropolitan Museum Historic District


A rowhouse built in 1884-85 and redesigned as a neo-Regency style residence by Augustus N. Allen in 1906, and further modified with a garage at the ground floor installed prior to designation. Application is to alter the front and rear facades.

Project architect: Ferguson & Shamamian

HDC finds the proposed alterations to be well considered and appropriate. However, while the fencing is not mentioned in the application description, HDC wishes to point out that they are quite a bit taller than any of the other fences, railings or areaway enclosures on this block, giving them an inappropriately heavy-handed appearance. We ask the Commission to consider them carefully.

LPC Determination: Approved

7 East 84th Street


Item 19

153 West 121st Street – Mount Morris Park Extension Historic District


A neo-Grec style rowhouse designed by Cleverdon & Putzel and built in 1886. Application is to construct rooftop and rear yard additions.

Project architect: AtelierNY Architecture

HDC does not support this application as proposed. As one of the first applications to the LPC in this new historic district, we found the proposal disappointing in its context and in its design. This block is occupied by a school, leaving the surviving six rowhouses, which are only 15 feet wide, with an exceptionally small donut. This full-width, three-story proposed addition will be the first major incursion into this rear yard, and will set a precedent for other rear yard additions on this block. In this long-sought historic district extension, HDC asks the Commission to be diligent. The mass of this addition should be scaled down to one story so that its current configuration is less offensive in this small, shared rear yard.

LPC Determination: No Action

Since this three-story, full-width addition would be the first incursion into the rear yard and because of its less than inspiring design, the Commission asked the applicant to come back with something smaller and more finessed.

153 W. 121st Street


Category: HDC@LPC · Tags: , , , ,

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