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

 

Events:

 

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

Programs:

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

 

News:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Landmarks Lion 2012:

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

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

Historic District Council

2015 Annual Preservation Conference Series

Landmarks at 50: Honoring Our Past, Imagining Our Future

March 2015

 

Brooklyn Army Terminal: A Public Institution Transformed

Saturday, March 7, 2015, 12PM

BAT-Atrium_Rail-Line

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

Friend- $10

General- $20


2015 Conference Tour: Brooklyn Army Terminal


 

East Harlem Histories

Saturday, March 14, 2015, 1PM

IMG_2392

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

Friend- $10

General- $20


2015 Conference Tour:East Harlem Histories



 

 

Village Institutions

Saturday, March 21, 2015, 11AM

Public Theater

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

Friend- $10

General- $20


2015 Conference Tour: 2015 Conference Tour: Village Institutions



 

Classical Culture at Carnegie Hall

Saturday, March 28, 2015 11AM

Carnegie

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

Friend- $10

General- $20


2015 Conference Tour: Carnegie Hall



 

DUMBO and Fulton Ferry

Saturday, April 11, 2015, 11AM

5-7 Front street

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

Friend- $10

General- $20


2015 Conference Tour: DUMBO and Fulton Ferry



 

Preserving West Chelsea

Saturday April 18, 2015, 11AM

Auto showrooms  on West 26th Street2

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

Friend- $10

General- $20


2015 Conference Tour: Preserving West Chelsea



 

 

 Click here for information about the Keynote and Reception

 

and the Conference Panels 

 

 

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

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

Landmarks @ 50 Honoring Our Past Imagining Our Future

Historic District Council

2015 Annual Preservation Conference Series

Landmarks at 50: Honoring Our Past, Imagining Our Future

March 2015

HDC_printready_postcard1 copy

The 2015 Preservation Conference Series celebrates the milestone 50th anniversary of the New York City Landmarks Law and imagines what preservation might look like in the future. Since 1965, preservation activities have had a tremendous, positive effect on New York City, showing that preservation is neither weepy nostalgia nor dusty museums.  Preservation is active work, which engages diverse communities across the city and both reflects and informs New York’s cultural, political, and economic milieu. Innumerable successes have been won in the last 50 years, but there is still great work to be done.

This year’s Conference will consist of a keynote with an opening reception and three panels presented during the month of March. The opening evening will also include the Citywide Preservation Fair, where local advocates working on specific preservation campaigns will have the opportunity to present their efforts in a publicly engaging way.  The Conference Panels, each presented in a different borough, will feature preservationists, historians, advocates and innovators discussing past efforts, current issues, and future concerns. By presenting the panels in different venues throughout the month, the 2015 Conference Series will connect with a wider and more diverse audience in this landmark anniversary year.

 

Keynote and Opening Reception

March 6, 2015 6:30 pm

The Diana Center at Barnard College

3009 Broadway at 118th Street

Jake-Dobkin Keynote Speaker: Jake Dobkin, co-founder and publisher of Gothamist

Today’s Youth and the Future of Landmarks

Jake Dobkin is a lifelong New Yorker  and the publisher of Gothamist, a city-centric blog that focuses on news, events, food, culture, and other local coverage. He writes the popular “Ask a Native New Yorker” feature, where he offers useful advice on neighborhoods, transit, culture and the ever-important work of interacting with your fellow New Yorkers on a daily basis. He lives in Park Slope with his wife, two kids and parents.

 

Plus the Preservation Fair!


2015 Conference Keynote and Opening Reception



 

Conference Panels

 

5ptz2Barack Obama Slept Here: Recognizing Today’s Sites of Cultural Significance

March 11, 6:30PM

Eldridge Street Synagogue

12 Eldridge Street

Lower East Side

More than simply celebrating architectural merit, New York City’s cultural landmarks proudly declare that History Happened Here! Since the signing of the Landmarks Law, many buildings, both individually and as part of historic districts, have been recognized and protected for their cultural significance to the city. These sites, along with those that are still not officially recognized, speak to the vast history of nation-building, housing, social welfare, the arts, entertainment and all the innumerable aspects of life which New Yorkers have pursued since the city’s founding. Author David Freeland will discuss those cultural sites which have been officially designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission since 1965. The panelists, including Marie Flageul of 5Pointz, historian Eric K. Washington and Jay Shockley, former senior historian, Research Department, Landmarks Preservation Commission, will then discuss what the recognition and preservation of these places will look like moving forward. In an increasingly diversifying world, how do we best acknowledge and protect the significant places that speak to recently-arrived communities, historically-marginalized groups and emerging cultural movements?

2015 Conference Panel- Barack Obama Slept Here



 

eureka garage (3)Tomorrow’s Yesterdays: Historic Districts of the Future

March 18, 6:30 PM

ShapeShifter Lab

18 Whitwell Place

Gowanus

When Brooklyn Heights was designated the very first New York City historic district in 1965, the architectural styles found there exemplified the types of buildings that the Landmarks Preservation Commission saw as worthy of protection. While protecting classic Federals and grand rowhouses has never gone out of style, over the past 50 years, the question of what types of buildings can be landmarked has slowly been re-examined. Beginning in 1973 with the designation of the SoHo-Cast-Iron District, acceptance has slowly warmed to the potential diversity of historic districts, including with vernacular or industrial buildings. This panel will include a presentation of the evolution of historic districts by architectural historian Francis Morrone, before considering the issues of the present and future.  The panelist,  urban planner Paul Graziano, Gowanus advocate Marlene Donnelly and Ward Dennis,  Columbia University professor and Brooklyn Community Board 1 member, will discuss potential historic districts, technological and bureaucratic  strategies  for looking ahead, and questions such as Can Gowanus ever be designated? and Is there a place for a historic district in suburban Queens?

2015 Conference Panel-Yesterday’s Tomorrows: The Future of Historic Districts



 

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Cocktails at the Post Office: Adaptive Reuse of Public Institutions

March 25, 6:30 PM

MoMA PS1

22-25 Jackson Avenue

Long Island City

New York City possesses a treasure trove of historic institutional buildings of grand character, which add immeasurably to our neighborhoods throughout the boroughs. Unfortunately, as schools, hospitals, libraries, police stations, post offices and military facilities age, require modernization or close, hard questions are raised about the next lives of these local landmarks.  After looking at the history of these buildings and early examples of how some have been preserved and repurposed successfully, the discussion will focus on current and future projects that aim to reinvent these spaces to maintain not only their iconic and landmark facades, but also their valued place as  neighborhood anchors. Dr. Jeffrey Kroessler, HDC board member and historian, will begin the panel with a look at the last 50 years of preservation and reuse before the discussion of the present and future is considered by panelists Joseph Coppola, principal at Dattner Architects, Naomi Hersson-Ringskog , Executive Director of No Longer Empty and David Burney, Pratt Institute Planning and Placemaking Professor. (photo credit: Matt Green)

2015 Conference Panel-Cocktails at the Post Office: Adaptive Reuse and Public Institutions



 Conference Tours

  1. Brooklyn Army Terminal: A Public Institution Transformed-Saturday, March 7, 2015, 12PM
  2. East Harlem Histories- Saturday, March 14, 2015, 1PM
  3. Village Institutions-Saturday, March 21, 2015 11AM
  4. Classical Culture at Carnegie Hall-Saturday, March 28, 2015 11AM
  5. DUMBO and Fulton Ferry-Saturday, April 11, 2015, 11AM
  6. Preserving West Chelsea-Saturday April 18, 2015 11AM

For more information and to register for the tours click here 

 

The title “Landmarks at 50: Honoring Our Past, Imagining Our Future” was  created by Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, Chair of the NYC Landmarks 50 Alliance, and is used with permission.
 
Support is provided in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  Additional support is provided by City Councilmembers Margaret Chin,  Inez Dickens, Matthieu Eugene, Daniel Garodnick, Vincent Gentile, Corey Johnson, Ben Kallos, Stephen Levin, Mark Levine, and Rosie Mendez

nysca

Landmarks 50

 

NYCulture_logo_CMYK

Preservation School

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

School_JPG

Head back to school with HDC

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

 

 

Schedule of Classes

northside_president7 Monday

September 8, 2014

6:00 PM

Preservation 101

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

SOLD OUT

Click here to view the presentation

 

brooklyn-suburbs-nypl Wednesday

October 15, 2014

6:00 PM

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

SOLD OUT

Click here to view the presentation

realestate120709_rowhouse_560 Monday
November 10, 2014
6:00 PM

NYC Architectural Styles

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

SOLD OUT

 

incarnation-landmark-building-plaque Monday

December 8, 2014

6:00 PM

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

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

SOLD OUT

Click here to view the presentation

zh_height_factor Monday

February 9, 2015

6:00 PM

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

 

Click here to view the presentation

 

SunsetPark-8 Monday

March 9, 2015

6:00 PM

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

 

DKoepp_NYC_TH Monday
April 13, 2015
6:00 PM

Reading Architectural Drawings

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

4416779971_5ac0d6a112_z Monday
May 11, 2015
6:00 PM

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

 

 

Classes will take place at:

Neighborhood Preservation Center

232 East 11 Street

New York, NY 10003

6:00PM

Light refreshments to be served

Classes:

$10 each or $60 for all 8

Scholarships available

please contact Barbara Zay at bzay@hdc.org

Category: Featured · Tags:

Defending Historic Preservation in New York City

Posted by on Thursday, April 24, 2014 · 18 Comments 

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.

Category: Featured, Historic District, landmarks law, Newsfeed · Tags: , ,

HDC@LPC – March 3, 2015

Posted by on Monday, March 2, 2015 · Leave a Comment 

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

 

ITEM 3

141 Clinton Street – Brooklyn Heights Historic District

163916 – Block 268, lot 23, Zoned R6 & LH-1

Community District 2, Brooklyn

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

An Anglo-Italianate style rowhouse built c. 1853. Application is to construct a rooftop stair bulkhead.

141 Clinton Street-3-crop

Our committee found the bulkhead’s visibility from Schermerhorn Street to be fairly innocuous. However, we are concerned – since the application materials did not prove it to be invisible from other public thoroughfares – about visibility from Clinton Street, as the bulkhead would disrupt the intact cornice line of the row.

 

ITEM 4

54 State Street – Brooklyn Heights Historic District

167221 – Block 258, lot 137, Zoned R6

Community District 2, Brooklyn

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

An apartment building built in the late 19th century. Application is to alter the façade and areaway, relocate HVAC units, and legalize and modify façade and areaway alterations performed without Landmarks Preservation Commission permits.

54 State Street-5-crop

The smooth brick stretchers and thin mortar joints are an important feature of this building, so our committee asks that the applicant work with staff to match the historic brick pattern.

 

ITEM 7

463 Greenwich Street – TriBeCa North Historic District

156116 – Block 225, lot 7501, Zoned C6-2A

Community District 1, Manhattan

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

A Romanesque Revival style warehouse designed by George W. DaCunha and built in 1854-1855. Application is to construct a rooftop bulkhead.

463 Greenwich Street-2-crop

This bulkhead is extremely visible at the edge of the building, so we would ask that the height be reconsidered. Perhaps the installation of a hydraulic elevator would help bring down the height.

 

ITEM 8

146-150 Wooster Street – SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District

165750 – Block 514, lot 7 & 9, Zoned M1-5A

Community District 2, Manhattan

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

A garage built or altered from an earlier structure in the early 20th Century, and a parking lot. Application is to demolish the existing garage and construct a new building.

146-150 Wooster Street-5-crop

HDC commends the design of this new building. Its scale and proportions, as well as fine materials, including cast-iron and buff brick, make it a handsome and sympathetic contemporary addition to the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District. We would only ask that every precaution be taken to protect the buildings on either side of it.

 

ITEM 10

15 8th Avenue – Greenwich Village Historic District

166618 – Block 625, lot 42, Zoned C1-6/R7

Community District 2, Manhattan

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

A Greek Revival style rowhouse built in 1845. Application is to legalize the replacement of window lintels without a Landmarks Preservation Commission permit.

15 8th Avenue-3-crop

15 8th Avenue-4-crop

HDC finds the installed lintels to be too simple compared to the historic lintels, which were more articulated. If molded lintels are desired here, we ask that they match the historic material found on this rowhouse.

 

ITEM 11

282 West 4th Street – Greenwich Village Historic District

162099 – Block 622, lot 48, Zoned R6

Community District 2, Manhattan

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

Two combined and modified Greek Revival style rowhouses built in 1841.  Application is to excavate a sub-cellar level, alter the facades, and construct rooftop additions.

282 West 4th Street-5-crop

282 West 4th Street-6-crop

Sacrificing the roofline at a very important corner in the Greenwich Village Historic District for the convenience of an elevator to the roof seems like a feeble argument. The proposed rooftop additions are very tall, especially the elevator bulkhead. We ask that the applicant consider other ways to access the roof, including either a hydraulic elevator or a Limited Use/Limited Access elevator, which would take up less room. Also, our committee had concerns about the amount of proposed excavation in such a fragile neighborhood, and finds the blackened bronze to be an inappropriate material choice for the front door.

 

ITEM 12

57 Greenwich Avenue – Greenwich Village Historic District

151330 – Block 613, lot 61, C2-6

Community District 2, Manhattan

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

A Greek Revival style residence built in 1844-45. Application is to modify a masonry opening.

57 Greenwich Avenue-2-crop

57 Greenwich Avenue-3-crop

HDC finds that the enlargement of this window does not make a huge difference on the façade. However, we would ask, that since the interior is being redesigned, perhaps the kitchen could be vented by opening one of the blind windows. This would be a less heavy-handed approach to the exterior.

 

ITEM 14

17 East 80th Street – Metropolitan Museum Historic District

162686 – Block 1492, lot 11, Zoned R8B

Community District 8, Manhattan

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

A French-classic style mansion designed by C. P. H. Gilbert and built in 1906-08. Application is to replace windows.

17 E 80-crop

HDC found this proposal innocuous overall, but suggests finding a way to retain the transom of this center window. This horizontal element is subtle, but intended, and would be an unfortunate loss.

 

ITEM 15

187 Lenox Avenue – Mount Morris Park Historic District

165781 – Block 1904, lot 31, Zoned R7-2/C1-4

Community District 10, Manhattan

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

A Queen Anne style rowhouse built in 1886-87 with later alterations.  Application is to install a commercial storefront and alter the areaway.

187 Lenox Avenue-7-crop

HDC reviewed the plans for this storefront a few weeks ago at Public Review, and was glad to see some improvements to the proposal this time around, especially the decorative surrounds on the parlor floor windows. This work will be hugely beneficial to the building – and the new business at the ground level – as well as the overall appearance of the entire row. We find the proposed storefront to be an appropriate installation on this rowhouse.  However, while the contemporary railings at the areaway are suitable as they descend the ramp, HDC asks that the railing at street level be redesigned to match the other street-level railings on the block.

 

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

Preservation in the News

Posted by on Monday, March 2, 2015 · 1 Comment 

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

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

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

Click here to read the whole article

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Woodlawn group fights for historical district status

News 12 Bronx

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

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

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

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

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Op-Ed: No Tower on the Seaport

Strausmedia BY MARGARET CHIN AND GALE BREWER

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

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

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

Click here to read the whole article

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

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

Click here to read the whole article

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

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

Bloomberg Business By 

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

Click here to read the whole article

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

New York Times By 

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

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

Behind Commission Decision Are Almost 100 Tales of Potential Landmarks

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

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

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

Curbed by Hana R. Alberts

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

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

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

New York Times By MATT A.V. CHABAN

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

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

By Heather Holland

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

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

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

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Independent Engineer Report Supports Dismantling the Harlem Watchtower

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

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

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

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Community plan to unlock south Bronx waterfront recognized by state

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

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, BY 

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

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

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

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Frick Opponents Get Organized

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

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

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

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Historic Districts Council Opposes Frick Expansion

New York Times, By 

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

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

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Redevelopment of Former Indigent Farm Community Proposed

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

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How to Turn Your Block Into an Historic District

By Nikhita Venugopal

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

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

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

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City Planning appoints inaugural COO

Crain’s New York, BY 

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

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

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

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

Huffington Post By Charles Birnbaum

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

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Scientists recreate old beer they dug up in Chinatown

New York Post By Natalie O’Neill

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

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

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

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

 

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

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The War on New York’s Waterfront

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

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

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

Reuters By Laila Kearney

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

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

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Midtown East Steering Committee to Make Everyone Happy

New York Observer by: Tobias Salinger  

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

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Buildings With a Past

Creating New York Apartments From Unlikely Buildings

NYTimes By C. J. HUGHES

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

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

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 Readers sound off on landmarks

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

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

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

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

Pardon Me For Asking

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

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

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RIZZOLI CEILING SOON TO PERISH

 

Save Rizzoli

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

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

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Library’s Rose Main Reading Room Closed for Six Months

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

Wall Street Journal By Jennifer Maloney

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

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

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

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Mysterious Railroad Relic Unearthed on Governors Island

DNAInfo By Irene Plagianos

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

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

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

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Closer look at two significant neighborhoods

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

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

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

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Ratner wins prize for best … preservationist?

Brooklyn Paper
BY MATTHEW PERLMAN

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

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

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DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE RELEASES REPORT

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

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

Click here to access the full report.

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Brooklyn’s Historic Churches Disappear to Make Way for Condos

 

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

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

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

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

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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.”

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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).

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

Daily News BY 

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

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

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

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

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New Yorkers, Take Back Your City

 

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

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

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Public Library Is Abandoning Disputed Plan for Landmark

NYTimes By ROBIN POGREBIN

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

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

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

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New York Public Library Scraps Redesign Plans

The Controversial Renovation Plan Prompted Three Lawsuits

WSJ By JENNIFER MALONEY

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

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

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

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

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

 

Crains BY ANDREW J. HAWKINS

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

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

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

“We insist on real involvement,” he said.

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Mayor de Blasio’s Plan to Build More Cells

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

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

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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:

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HONORS> HISTORIC DISTRICTS COUNCIL DESIGN AWARDS

Architects Newspaper By: Alan G. Brake

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

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

Click here to read the full article

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

News 1

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

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

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Demolition freeze may cover 80% of the city

 

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

Crains By Joe Anuta

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

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

 Click here to read the full story

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Museum fears plaster disaster from next-door hotel project

The Villager by Sam Spokony

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

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

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Merchant’s House-Neighboring Hotel Approved by Landmarks

Curbed by Jeremiah Budin

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

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

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LPC Likely to Protect Ladies’ Mile Buildings From Demolition

 

Chelsea Now by Scott Stiffler

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

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

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

Gothamist by Ben Miller

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

Click here to read the full article

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Sunset Park Leading Grassroots Effort to Preserve Its History

NY1 by Jeanine Ramirez

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

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

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

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

Click here to read the full article

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COOKFOX Wins Award for Front Street; BK Heights Tour

Curbed by Zoe Rosenberg

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

Click here to read the full article

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A Landmark Restored, From Mosaic Marble Floor to Grand Dome

Michael Nagle for The New York Times

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

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

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

Click here to read the full article

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

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

BY JEFFREY A. KROESSLER/New York Observer

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

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

Follow us: @newyorkobserver on Twitter | newyorkobserver on Facebook

Click here to read the full article

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

BY / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

 

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

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

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

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

By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS/New York Times

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

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

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Argument Over a Brownstone Neighborhood

The Case for and Against a Bed-Stuy Historic District

 By /New York Times

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

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

Click here to read the full article

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 Renovation, restoration the trend in Midtown East

By /Real Estate Weekly

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

125 Park Avenue

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

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

Click here to read the full article

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

City Land Profile

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

Click here to read the full article

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Potential Historic District Supported by Elected Officials and Community Boards

By: Jesse Denno/City Land

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

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

Deborah Young & Suzanne Spellen: Crown Heights North Historic District; Crown Heights North Association

Posted by on Monday, March 2, 2015 · Leave a Comment 

 

Voices from the Neighborhood

 

BROOKLYN

Deborah-sm

Deborah Young

Suzanne

Suzanne Spellen

 

 

Interviewed September 28, 2010, by Susan Hopper, HDC Board Member.

 

 

 

 

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How did you get started with preservation? We started organizing in late 2001. One of our founding members, Denise Brown, had worked with the Historic Districts Council prior to our coming together as a community organization.  We were starting up our organization, which was eventually named the Crown Heights North Association, Inc. or CHNA.  Denise  knew that a number of communities surveyed by the Landmarks Preservation Commission had moved forward to landmarking but not Crown Heights, and we were not sure how to proceed. Denise was aware of the work of HDC and said we should reach out to them.

How has the Historic Districts Council helped?  This was one of the best moves we could have made. We reached out to Executive Director Simeon Bankoff, who held our hands, wiped our tears and encouraged us every step of the way. Frampton Tolbert, deputy director, was also very helpful when we needed strategies on how to best move our agenda forward.  Both shared with us their expertise on preservation issues, and connected us with numerous resources.  Since then, HDC has been most helpful in teaching us how to effectively maneuver through the bureaucracy, prepare letters in a manner that would best ensure the support of our elected officials, and how to strategically reach out to other organizations that could help us, such as the Landmarks Conservancy, Municipal Art Society, and others. They also told us whom to connect with at the LPC.

Frampton and Simeon were so willing to come out to meetings when we needed experts; they were gracious and are godsends to any preservation organization.   HDC urged us to make the community a part of what we were attempting to achieve.  Consequently, we began holding bi-monthly general membership meetings. HDC also helped us prepare for and participate in meetings with our elected official. HDC suggested we host an annual town hall meeting, so for our first town hall, we invited the Chairman of LPC and staff members to speak. We have been hosting annual town hall meetings ever since, each with a theme relative to community interest and needs. HDC has also been helpful in simplifying for us, and for homeowners, the do’s and don’ts of living in a designated community.  Simeon and Frampton are very good at explaining historic designation in a friendly, “everyman” sort of way that is not off-putting.

HDC reviewed the initial map of the Crown Heights North area that was surveyed as landmark-worthy. They were very helpful in identifying the most important areas, and the areas that had been overlooked by the LPC survey. Because the area that was “landmark-worthy” was so large, HDC helped us devise how best to move forward strategically. It was important to make our goal more manageable. Before Deborah moved to the block she currently lives on, she had never heard Crown Heights referred to as Crown Heights North and Crown Heights South; she did not know Eastern Parkway served as the division between north and south Crown Heights. That boundary, set by LPC, makes sense. There are significant differences in architecture and history within the two communities.  Crown Heights North buildings are older and date from 1850-1935.  Buildings on the South side date from 1900-1940 and later.

CHNA and HDC attended several meetings with LPC, and it was soon evident that there were issues with LPC resources that could delay beginning the designation process for Crown Heights North. HDC staff encouraged us to offer our assistance to LPC, which we did.  We mentioned that we had a copy of the initial survey, including copies of color photos of some of the most significant structures in the area.  Part of our application, and our first accomplishments under the tutorship of HDC, was to re-take photographs of the properties featured in the original document.  The photos, along with letters from our elected officials, and numerous requests for evaluations from the community all served as part of our formal application to LPC.   The wisdom of HDC staff suggesting we re-take the photos not only helped us contribute to moving the process along, but it also showed that little had changed with respect to the housing stock in the community.

HDC stuck a few pins in LPC about the risk to the oldest house in Crown Heights North, an 1855 Italianate villa called the George and Susan Elkins House, now surrounded by brownstones. It had been calendared in 2006.  A developer bought it and was intending to tear it down.  Neighbors who were not initially in favor of landmarking heard about the fate of the building, told our organization, and we contacted HDC. They reached out to LPC, which landmarked the building in an emergency session just hours before bulldozers were coming,, and the house was saved.  We, CHNA, would like to secure this property and plan to reach out to HDC to help us with direction on how to get backing to secure this house. (See Updates)

Overall, we’ve become more sensitized to changes in the community, more observant, over the years as a result of being involved with HDC.  We are more attentive to our surroundings, and it is easier to spot changes that seem out of character.

Where are you now with preservation and historic districting? Phase II has been calendared and we are waiting for it to be designated (See Updates).  We have elected officials who support us, but they also have other areas demanding their attention. We have to keep in touch with our elected officials, reminding them what we need them to do, so they don’t forget about us.

Connecting with the Wider NYC Preservation Community: Through HDC, we were introduced to a city full of people who are like-minded.  When we won the HDC Grassroots Preservation Award in 2007 we were surrounded by people who said they heard about us and asked how we accomplished what we did.  Everyone was on the same side, and it was great to have such a large venue of support.

But it put us in competition with other worthy communities that started looking at their own neighborhoods for designation, Here we are in 2010, and LPC has only designated Phase I  of the proposed four phases.  Increased requests from other communities have delayed the designation of our additional phases.

Advice for other neighborhoods interested in an historic district: We always tell them call to HDC and Simeon.  Sit down with them, talk about your ideas, and let them become familiar with your neighborhood.  That focus on people was strategic and it helped us move forward more quickly than we could have otherwise.  It is easy to become very excited about getting landmarked.  Without a focused strategic plan, though, you can waste a lot of valuable time, so it is best to get advice from HDC in the beginning. HDC staff is the best about giving lessons about how to get landmarked.

Updates: In June, 2011, LPC approved the creation of Crown Heights North II Historic District, which includes 610 row houses, apartment buildings and large Queen-Anne style homes, most of which were built between 1870 and 1935. Many long time residents of the area, some of whom recalled the 1970’s efforts, attended the hearing.  For more information, a map and photographs, visit http://www.crownheightsnorth.org/.  CHNA and neighborhood leaders are working on Phase III.

Each year, on the first Saturday in October, the Crown Heights North Association offers a house tour of its historic neighborhood.  Check the website for details!

 

Category: Brooklyn, Crown Heights North, Deserving but not Designated, Featured, Neighborhood Partner, Six to Celebrate 2015, Voices from the Neighborhood · Tags: , , , ,

Secret Lives Tour: E.R. Butler & Co. Decorative Hardware

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

Join HDC for a tour of E.R. Butler & Co.’s beautiful Prince Street building and impressive decorative hardware showrooms.

 Prince Street Works600showroom

Behind the doors of many of New York’s most architecturally stunning façades, are equally elegant interiors. E.R. Butler & Co. has been designing, creating and distributing fine architectural hardware and decorative furnishings in the spirit of 19th-century American craft since 1990. Their Manhattan showroom is located in the buildings which were once the home to the legendary Prince Street Works, the silver department of Tiffany & Co. Rhett Butler, founder of E.R. Butler, will guide the tour through the charming cast iron and brick building on Prince Street and into the showrooms which house an archive of more than 25,000 pieces.

Tuesday,  February 24,2015

5PM

$35 for Friends of HDC, students and seniors, $45 for general public


Secret Lives Tour: ER Butler & Co. Decorative Hardware



 

If you have any questions, please contact Brigid Harmon at bharmon@hdc.org or 212-614-9107.

The exact meeting location will be emailed to registrants the week prior to the tour. Space is limited.

 

Category: Event, Program & Events, Secret Lives Tour, SoHo · Tags: , ,

NY State Court of Appeals Agrees to Hear Case Against NYU Expansion Plan

Posted by on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 · Leave a Comment 

For Immediate Release:     February 24, 2015

Contact:  Linda Cronin-Gross or Sonya Landau, LCG Communications:
o: 718.853.5568; linda@lcgcommunications.com, (c: 917.767.1141); sonya@lcgcommunications.com, (c: 520.204.3390)

BREAKING

NY State Court of Appeals Agrees to Hear Case Against NYU Expansion Plan;

Could Save Village Parks From Destruction, Affect Countless Parks and Open Spaces in the City and State; Actor and Activist Ruffalo Lauds Court’s Acceptance of Case, Warns Earlier Decision Must Be Overturned or Have Disastrous Implications for Public Commons

In the latest installment of the ongoing struggle against NYU’s huge expansion plan, the State’s highest court, the New York State Court of Appeals, has agreed to hear a case that was filed by petitioners in mid-November regarding public parkland. The lawsuit has passed through two lower courts, with differing results. Those following the dispute, especially park advocates, are awaiting a verdict that could have massive ramifications on the way that the City and the State deal with public parks in the future.

On October 14th, the Appellate Division’s First Department overturned a lower court’s decision that would have spared three parks—Mercer Playground, LaGuardia Park and LaGuardia Corner Gardens—from destruction under NYU’s current expansion plan. According to the lower court’s ruling, all three strips are public parks, and therefore entitled to protection, since the public has been using them as parks for many years, making them “implied” parkland, with the City funding, labeling and maintaining them as parks.

NYU and the City counter-argued that those parks aren’t really parks, since they were never “mapped” as parks (a bureaucratic technicality), and are nominally overseen by the City’s Department of Transportation. The First Department’s decision would allow NYU to raze those treasured parks to make way for its vast expansion plan, and set a precedent that could potentially threaten countless public parks throughout the City and the State.

Petitioners, NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Historic Districts Council, Washington Square Village Tenants’ Association, East Village Community Coalition, Friends of Petrosino Square, LaGuardia Corner Gardens, Inc., Lower Manhattan Neighbors’ Organization, SoHo Alliance, Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, NoHo Neighborhood Association, Assembly Member Deborah Glick and 10 other individuals, are represented on a pro bono basis by the law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, with Randy Mastro as lead attorney.

Their motion papers make clear that “the First Department’s decision disregarded well-established common law principles for determining when municipal land has been impliedly dedicated for parks usage.  In recognition of the unique value that public parks hold for children, families, and communities, the Public Trust Doctrine accords parkland special protection.”

“We’re glad that the Court of Appeals agrees that this case is important. These parks have been a vital part of the Greenwich Village community’s daily life for decades. Not only do we want to save these parks from NYU’s reckless, unnecessary expansion, but we want to do the same for the parks that will be threatened elsewhere if the lower court’s decision stands,” said Andrew Ross, Urbanist and Director of American Studies Program at NYU.

The petitioners are asking the Court of Appeals to consider two issues: that the First Department’s decision actually conflicts with prior appellate court decisions, and prior decisions by the Court of Appeals itself, about this kind of “implied” parkland, and that the First Department’s decision, if left intact, will have the effect of abolishing implied dedication—a consequence with widespread negative effects, not just in New York City, but throughout the State.

Parks and open spaces are protected by the Public Trust Doctrine, which maintains that the government holds the titles to certain waters and lands in trust for the people. In New York State, if an entity wishes to develop or remove a parcel of parkland from public ownership and use, it must follow a legal process called “alienation,” which, among other conditions, requires approval from the state Legislature. This was not done in the case of the Village parks that NYU wants to destroy for its ill-advised expansion plan. The First Department’s decision flies in the face of this doctrine and of its own decisions, and would imperil all kinds of public and green spaces throughout the state; it would leave ordinary New Yorkers with no protection against the removal and abuse of open spaces and parks for development.

“We understand that the battle is not yet over, but we appreciate that the Court of Appeals grasps the gravity of the situation. If these parks can be handed off to NYU in spite of the Public Trust Doctrine, it sets a terrible precedent, and the outcome for similar cases is bleak,” continued Ross.

Professor Mark Crispin Miller, President of NYUFASP, said, “Green spaces like these parks play an imperative role in keeping New York livable. We hope that the Court of Appeals overturns the First Department’s decision before it can do irreparable harm to the Public Trust Doctrine. Without the legal protection that provides, we could lose countless other City and State parks to greedy speculators like NYU.”

“These public parks have been a vital part of the Village for decades, and they have benefitted the public in numerous ways. Without the Court of Appeals’ intervention, not only will they be given to a private corporation for its own financial gain, but such a thing could become a common and unremarkable occurrence throughout New York,” said actor and environmental activist Mark Ruffalo.

Category: Greenwich Village, Legal, Manhattan · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Woodlawn group fights for historical district status- News 12 Bronx

Posted by on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 · Leave a Comment 

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

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

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

Each year, the Historical District Council considers six groups to receive hands-on help over the course of a year in their efforts to become recognized as a historical district. The program also assists in raising money for community-driven projects.

Since its inception in 2011, “Six to Celebrate” has raised $40,000 for neighborhood efforts and helped place many on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Watch the video of the Women of Woodlawn and HDC executive director being interviewed here 

 

Category: Bronx, Featured, Six to Celebrate 2015 · Tags: , ,

HDC@LPC – February 17, 2015

Posted by on Friday, February 13, 2015 · Leave a Comment 

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

 

ITEM1

404 Richmond Terrace – Saint George/New Brighton Historic District 
162685- Block 3, lot 40, Zoned R5 
Community District 1, Staten Island

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

A Greek Revival style freestanding house built c. 1835 and altered in 1924-25 by Sibley & Fetherston. Application is to alter the facades, reconstruct the rear wall of the addition, install mechanical equipment, construct a parking lot, demolish a wall, and install a perimeter fence.
404 Richmond Terrace-5-crop

The 1920s and 1930s additions to this Greek Revival house were intentionally clad in shingles to distinguish between the original fabric and the new, and as such, the additions were lauded at the time for their sensitivity to the building. The proposed stucco contradicts this idea by attempting to blend in too much with the original structure. It would be far better to restore or replace the wood shingles in kind. With the removal of trees on the right side of the house, that elevation will become far more visible, so our committee asks that more consideration be given to detailing the stairs and ramp sensitively. Lastly, our committee felt that the concrete wall around the perimeter of the property should be removed entirely, rather than retaining the piece at the corner.

LPC determination: No Action.
ITEM 2

178 Court Street – Cobble Hill Historic District
163310- Block 297, lot 31, Zoned C-2
Community District 6, Brooklyn
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
A vacant lot. Application is to construct a two-story building.

178 Court Street-4-crop

HDC commends this design for its overall sensitivity of scale and materials. We do ask, though, that since the storefront will be considerably taller than those of its Court Street neighbors, the signage be incorporated into the glass transom, rather than on an additional sign band above.

LPC determination: No Action.

ITEM 5

75 Rockefeller Plaza – Individual Landmark
166756- Block 1267, lot 22, Zoned C5-2.5  

Community District 5, Manhattan

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
An office tower, designed by Robert Carson and Earl Lundin, with Wallace Harrison, and built in 1946 as part of an Art Deco-style office, commercial and entertainment complex. Application is to create windows openings at the tower, and replace paving at the entry portal.

75 Rockefeller Plaza-3-crop

75 Rockefeller Plaza-6-crop

Our committee does not object to the window openings at the tower, but would prefer that the historic pink terrazzo paving at the terrace, along with its original panel pattern, be retained.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications.
ITEM 7

38 West 83rd Street – Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District
164475- Block 1196, lot 49, Zoned R7-2
Community District 7, Manhattan
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
A Queen Anne style rowhouse designed by Marcus Hutchinson and built in 1886-87. Application is to legalize window replacement and facade and areaway work performed without Landmarks Preservation Commission permits.

 38 West 83rd Street-2-crop

While our committee had difficulty discerning what was there before the work was performed, we would prefer that the windows reflect what is historically accurate to this rowhouse.

LAID OVER

ITEM 8
263 West 93rd Street – Riverside – West End Historic District

160557- Block 1241, lot 6, Zoned R8
Community District 7, Manhattan
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
A Renaissance Revival style rowhouse designed by Alexander M. Welch and built in 1897. Application is to construct rear yard and rooftop additions, create a new masonry opening and excavation at the rear yard.263 West 93rd Street-1-crop

HDC finds the proposed rear yard addition to be a significant intervention, especially due to its visibility from West 94th Street and the loss of the present rhythm found on this row’s rear elevations. The amount of proposed glass will emit much light into the rear yard, calling further attention to itself. HDC asks that efforts be made to bring down the height of the proposed stair bulkhead. We also ask that, since the drawings indicate that the entire cellar level will be excavated, an engineer be contracted to ensure that proper underpinnings are constructed.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications.
ITEM 9
5 Riverside Drive – West End-Collegiate Historic District   
163561- Block 1184, lot 28, Zoned R10A
Community District 7, Manhattan
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
An Art Deco style apartment building designed by Boak & Paris and built in 1936. Application is to replace windows.

5 Riverside Drive-3-crop

It is unfortunate that the West End-Collegiate Historic District Extension was designated after the majority of the windows were removed from this handsome Art Deco building. Windows are integral to the design of buildings of this size, and changing them in configuration would irreversibly alter the original intent of this building. HDC asks that instead of furthering the damage that has been done, a Master Plan be established for the gradual replacement of windows that are historically accurate and appropriate.

LPC determination: No Action.
ITEM 10
5 East 88th Street – Carnegie Hill Historic District
165147- Block 1500, lot 6, Zoned R8B
Community District 8, Manhattan
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
A Beaux-Arts style townhouse designed by Turner & Kilian and built in 1902-03. Application is to replace windows. 5 East 88th Street-1-crop

5 East 88th Street-3-crop

The tax photo for this building shows that the windows on the third floor were originally leaded glass, and that they may have been curved, two lovely features that would be wonderful to bring back. Our committee also would like to see the retention of the original brick mold, a detail that does not appear on the proposed window drawings.

LPC determination: Approved.

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

Fall in Love This Valentine’s Day… with HDC’s Events!

Posted by on Friday, February 13, 2015 · Leave a Comment 

 In This Issue:

  • Secret Lives Tour:E.R. Butler & Co. Decorative Hardware- February 24
  • Landmarks at 50: Honoring Our Past, Imagining Our Future- March 6-April 18
  • Give a Rose to the Rose Reading Room of the Main Library- February 14
  • To view this e-mail in your browser click here

Secret Lives Tour:

E.R. Butler & Co. Decorative Hardware 

The-Mysterious-and-Alluring-Drawers

Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 5:00 PM

 

Join HDC for a tour of E.R. Butler & Co.’s beautiful Prince Street building and impressive decorative hardware showrooms.

 

Behind the doors of many of New York’s most architecturally stunning façades, are equally elegant interiors. E.R. Butler & Co. has been designing, creating and distributing fine architectural hardware and decorative furnishings in the spirit of 19th-century American craft since 1990. Their Manhattan showroom is located in the buildings which were once the home to the legendary Prince Street Works, the silver department of Tiffany & Co. Rhett Butler, founder of E.R. Butler, will guide the tour through the cast iron building on Prince Street and into the showrooms which house an archive of more than 25,000 pieces.

 

$35 for Friends of HDC, students and seniors, $45 for general public

To register, please click here

 

If you have any questions, please contact Brigid Harmon at bharmon@hdc.org or 212-614-9107.

 

The exact meeting location will be emailed to registrants the week prior to the tour. Space is limited.

2015 Annual Preservation Conference Series
Landmarks at 50: Honoring Our Past, Imagining Our Future

Postcard for Web

Keynote and Opening Reception


 

March 6, 2015 6:30 pm 

The Diana Center at Barnard College

3009 Broadway at 118th Street

Keynote Speaker: Jake Dobkin, co-founder and publisher of Gothamist
Today’s Youth and the Future of Landmarks
Jake Dobkin is a lifelong New Yorker  and the publisher of Gothamist, a city-centric blog that focuses on news, events, food, culture, and other local coverage. He writes the popular “Ask a Native New Yorker” feature, where he offers useful advice on neighborhoods, transit, culture, and the ever-important work of interacting with your fellow New Yorkers on a daily basis. He lives in Park Slope with his wife, two kids, and parents.

Plus the Preservation Fair!

Conference Panels:

 

Wednesday, March 11, 6:30PM

Eldridge Street Synagogue

12 Eldridge Street

Lower East Side

Barack Obama Slept Here: Recognizing Today’s Sites of Cultural Significance

More than simply celebrating architectural merit, New York City’s cultural landmarks proudly declare thatHistory Happened Here! Since the signing of the Landmarks Law, many buildings, both individually and as part of historic districts, have been recognized and protected for their cultural significance to the city. These sites, along with those that are still not officially recognized, speak to the vast history of nation-building, housing, social welfare, the arts, entertainment, and all the innumerable aspects of life which New Yorkers have pursued since the city’s founding. Author David Freeland will discuss those cultural sites which have been officially designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission since 1965. The panelists, including Marie Falgeul of 5Pointz, will then take on the conversation of what does recognition and preservation of these places look like moving forward. In an increasingly diversifying world, how do we best acknowledge and protect the significant places that speak to recently-arrived communities, historically-marginalized groups, and emerging cultural movements?

Wednesday, March 18, 6:30 PM

ShapeShifter Lab

18 Whitwell Place

Gowanus

Tomorrow’s Yesterdays: Historic Districts of the Future

When Brooklyn Heights was designated the very first New York City historic district in 1965, the architectural styles found there exemplified the types of buildings that the Landmark Preservation Commission saw as worthy of protection. While protecting classic federals and grand rowhouses has never gone out of style, over the past 50 years, the question of what types of buildings can be landmarked has slowly been re-examined. Beginning in 1973 with the designation of the SoHo Cast-Iron District, acceptance has slowly warmed to the potential diversity of historic districts, including with vernacular or industrial buildings. This panel will include a presentation of the evolution of historic districts by architectural historian Francis Morrone, before considering the issues of the present and future.  Panelist, including urban planner Paul Graziano and Gowanus advocate Marlene Donnelly will discuss potential historic districts, technological and bureaucratic  strategies  for looking ahead, and questions such as Can Gowanus ever be designated? and Is there a place for a historic district in suburban Queens?

 

Wednesday, March 25, 6:30 PM

MoMA PS1

22-25 Jackson Avenue

Long Island City

 

Cocktails at the Post Office: Adaptive Reuse of Public Institutions

New York City possesses a treasure trove of historic institutional buildings of grand character, which add immeasurably to our neighborhoods throughout the boroughs. Unfortunately, as schools, hospitals, libraries, police stations, post offices, and military facilities age, require modernization, or close, hard questions are raised about the next lives of these local landmarks.  After looking at the history of these buildings and early examples of how some have been preserved and repurposed successfully, the discussion will focus on current and future projects that aim to reinvent these spaces to maintain not only their iconic and landmark facades, but also their valued place as a neighborhood anchors. Dr. Jeffrey Kroessler, HDC board member and historian will begin the panel with a look at the last 50 years of preservation and reuse before the discussion of the present and future is considered by panelists Joseph Coppola, principal at Dattner Architects and Naomi Hersson-Ringskog , Executive Director of No Longer Empty.

Conference Tours

  1. Brooklyn Army Terminal: A Public Institution Transformed

-Saturday, March 7, 2015, 12PM

  1. Village Institutions

-Saturday, March 21, 2015

  1. Classical Culture at Carnegie Hall

-Saturday, March 28, 2015 11AM

  1. DUMBO and Fulton Ferry

-Saturday, April 11, 2015, 11AM

  1. Preserving West Chelsea                                                                                                               -Saturday April 18, 2015

For more information and to register for the tours click here 

Landmarks 50

A Rose for the Rose

Rose for the Rose

 

On Valentines Day, show some love for the 42nd Street Library.

Tell NYPL:  Return the books to the stacks and reopen the Rose Main Reading Room ASAP!

Saturday, February 14
Noon - 1:00 PM
5th Avenue entrance to the 42nd Street Library (at 5th Avenue and 41st Street)

Join Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir outside the 42nd Street Library this Saturday at noon to ask, Why is it taking so long to reopen the Rose Main Reading Room?  When will the books be returned to the stacks?  When will the NYPL trustees make their decision-making transparent to the public?
Show your love for the Rose Reading Room by wearing red and bringing a rose for the Rose.

The Rose Reading Room has been closed since June 2014, when a piece of the decorative ceiling crashed to the floor. It has taken NYPL over eight months just to erect scaffolding to start the inspection process. In the meantime, readers are crowded into small, poorly lit and poorly ventilated rooms with ad-hoc provision for computers.
In 2013, the New York Public Library Trustees hastily removed 3 million books from the stacks at 42nd Street to temporary storage in upstate New York. The books were then moved again to remote storage in central New Jersey. Many books that previously took minutes to obtain now take days. Books may have been lost or damaged in the shuffle making them unavailable to readers who rely on the library. Meanwhile, the historic seven-story tall book stacks in the 42nd St. building remain empty.

 

How long will the 42nd Street library continue with absent books and the Main Reading Room closed? Does NYPL care about its readers?

 

Come out on Valentine’s Day and tell NYPL:  New Yorkers care, we love our books and the Rose Main Reading Room!

Category: Blog, E-bulletin · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Yuengling Brewery Complex (6 items)

Posted by on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 · Leave a Comment 

Yuengling Brewing Complex

Address: Amsterdam Avenue at West 127th & 128th Streets
Constructed: 1905
LPC Action: Calendared 1991

This handsome 1905 complex speaks to NYC’s industrial and brewery past, which predated residential development in this part of West Harlem. Located along 10th Avenue (now Amsterdam Avenue) between 126th and 128th Streets, this complex was the home of the Bernheimer and Schwartz Brewery, with Yuengling Brewery first occupying the site. The complex was refrigerated and used for furs storage in the 1940s and 1950s, then receiving the affectionate appellation of the “Mink Building.”

Category: Brooklyn, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Six to Celebrate 2015 · Tags: ,

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