Defending Historic Preservation in New York City

Harrison Street

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

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

Emboldened by years of record growth, REBNY is accusing preservation efforts of driving up housing costs, endangering affordable housing, stopping job creation and economic growth, protecting worthless buildings and penalizing home and business owners with costly fees and delays. REBNY even pursued a serious lobbying effort to transform and weaken the Landmarks Law through a series of bills which would transform how the Landmarks Preservation Commission designates and regulates historic properties. To hear them tell it, landmark designation transforms New York into a lifeless museum city with a “look but don’t touch” mentality.

The Historic Districts Council (“HDC”) feels that nothing could be further from the truth. Preservation practices empower communities, celebrate our history, drive economic growth and sustain development efforts. Preservation enhances our streetscapes, nurtures tourism, encourages investment and employs local labor. It is a popular, populist movement driven by regular New Yorkers who value their homes and their city.

HDC works with community groups throughout the five boroughs on efforts to save, preserve and enhance the special character of New York’s historic neighborhoods. We work with communities from areas as different as the Upper West Side and Bedford-Stuyvesant on the shared goal of empowering the community to have a voice in determining their own future. These two communities are ones whose efforts we honored at the Grassroots Preservation Awards and whose successes have been targeted as “over-reaching” by the real estate lobby.

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

Additional Resources:

Preservation and Job Creation

Press

 

 

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

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

 

Events:

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

Programs:

 

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

HDC@LPC – Designation Testimony for LPC Hearing on April 24, 2018

Item 1

LP-2609

BOROUGH OF QUEENS

FIREHOUSE, ENGINE COMPANIES 264 & 328, HOOK & LADDER 134, 16-15 Central Avenue

HDC supports the designation of landmarks in Far Rockaway, a neighborhood that is severely underrepresented in the celebration of the city’s built heritage. A number of questions arose, however, as to why these two were chosen in particular. One could argue for a small historic district along this stretch of Central Avenue, especially on the opposite side of the street from the firehouse, which contains a number of contiguous buildings exhibiting fine architectural details that are wonderfully intact. These include the highly ornate, marble façades of the former National Bank of Far Rockaway at number 16-24; the former Rockaway News building at number 16-18; two stately office buildings with detailed brickwork at numbers 16-12 and 1600; and, on the next block, two handsome, three-story buildings that feature bracketed cornices and grand arches at numbers 15-26 and 15-22.

As the Commission’s own Brief for this building pointed out, this was one of three structures built to the same design by Hoppin & Koen. It was a common practice to recycle designs for civic structures during the flurry of such construction after the consolidation of the boroughs. Curiously, though, its twin at 242 East 111th Street in East Harlem was not one of the buildings listed as eligible by the LPC in the FEIS for the East Harlem rezoning. Given that the firehouse in East Harlem is exactly the same architecturally, why would the building’s significance, as outlined in the LPC Brief for this firehouse in Far Rockaway, be described as “an outstanding example of early twentieth century, Renaissance Revival style civic architecture”? While HDC does not disagree, we find the argument for architectural merit to be somewhat thin and inexplicable in the face of the snub in East Harlem, and would advocate for the inclusion of this building within a broader landmarking initiative in Far Rockaway.

 

Item 2

LP-2610

BOROUGH OF QUEENS

53RD (NOW 101ST) PRECINCT POLICE STATION, 16-12 Mott Avenue

Echoing our testimony for the previous designation hearing for the firehouse at 16-15 Central Avenue, HDC supports the designation of landmarks in Far Rockaway, but is somewhat perplexed at the LPC’s methodology. This lovely, intact police station, when considered in isolation, could easily qualify as a local landmark, with its robust Renaissance Revival design, rusticated base, projecting quoins and terra-cotta cornice. However, similar to the nearby firehouse also under consideration today, this fine building has a near-identical twin at 250 West 135th Street in Harlem. If the agency is prioritizing city-owned historic buildings, why not include these two in Far Rockaway in a survey-and-landmark initiative across all five boroughs? During the Dinkins Administration, the Department of General Services, under the direction of Assistant Commissioner Adrienne Bresnan, initiated prototypical programs to identify, preserve and adaptively reuse historic structures in every category of that department’s vast purview, including libraries, museums, courthouses, City Hall and Borough Halls, police stations, firehouses and other public service buildings. Assistant Commissioner Bresnan prepared scopes of work, preservation programs, adaptive reuse strategies, and plans for many of the outstanding government buildings in the City, focusing specifically on non-designated properties. HDC strongly recommends that if the Landmarks Commission is prioritizing city-owned properties, that the agency should revisit that work as a starting point. There is merit in designating this class of buildings; these prominent and dignified buildings serve as pillars in their communities and should be protected as such.

Category: HDC@LPC · Tags:

HDC@LPC – Testimony for LPC Hearing on April 24, 2018

Posted by on Friday, April 20, 2018 · 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 2

35-25 87th Street – Jackson Heights Historic District 

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1920765

An Anglo-American Garden Home style attached house designed by C.F. McAvoy and built in 1925. Application is to legalize the replacement of windows, stoop, and paving, and the installation of a fence without Landmarks Preservation Commission permit(s).

HDC is opposed to the legalization of the removed windows finding that the six-over-six double hung windows are a defining characteristic of this group of otherwise simple, brick houses. We would also like to note that being a corner building, the side façade is highly visible, making the windows an even more prominent feature. In regard to the fence, we would recommend that the applicant investigate more visually appealing alternatives.

 

Item 3 

259 Henry Street – Brooklyn Heights Historic District 

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1922858

A Federal style house built in 1833 and altered in the late-19th century. Application is to install dormer windows and remove a chimeny.

HDC recognizes that dormers are a common addition to the block and neighboring houses, but finds the proposed to be much more prominent than the others. We would suggest setting it farther back, possibly by 2 or 3 feet. We would also like to voice our concern over a water management issue caused by the lack of a gutter on the shed dormer, which would likely result in a problematic flow of water.

 

Item 4

10 Schermerhorn Street – Brooklyn Heights Historic District 

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1919349

An Anglo-Italianate style rowhouse buil c. 1849. Application is to alter the rear façade and replace a window at a visible secondary façade.

The proposed scheme for the top floor of the rear façade would effectively erase evidence of this façade’s original fenestration. HDC suggests, instead, that the applicant elongate the smaller window to create a pair of doors, rather than one giant masonry opening.

 

Item 8

275 Canal Street – SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District 

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1923074

A Queen Anne style store building designed by Charles Haight and built in 1878. Application is to replace windows and storefront infill.

HDC would like to give credit where it’s due, and applauds the applicant for restoring the original cast-iron storefront. The building, being located on a heavily-trafficked street, will allow for many people to enjoy these improvements.

 

Item 9

144 West 14th Street – Individual Landmark 

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1922913

A Renaissance Revival style loft building designed by Brunner & Tyron and built in 1895-96. Application is too install storefront infill and flagpoles.

Given that the scope of work includes this building’s entire storefront, an opportunity exists to bring the building in the right direction with a consistent and comprehensive restoration. As such, HDC would prefer to see a scheme that is based on a thorough investigation into this building’s historic storefront configuration. The program as proposed appears quite flat, while the tax photo and the wood pilasters directly above the main entrance provide evidence of depth and dimension at this building’s base. We ask the Commission to instruct that a more restorative approach be taken for this very prominent Individual Landmark.

 

Item 10

11 East 26th Street aka 11-13 East 26th St – Madison Square North Historic District 

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1920373

A neo-Gothic style store and lofts building designed by Rouse & Goldstone and built in 1912-13. Application is to modify an entrance surround and install entrance infill.

HDC applauds the restoration of the entrance surround, and especially wishes to thank the applicant for executing the work in the original materials found on this building – granite, bronze, Indiana limestone. However, we would advocate for finishing the job and including the restoration of the arched transom’s tracery detail. Given the fact that the base of this building has been compromised by the museum’s insensitive infill, a full and proper restoration of the Gothic style entrance would go a long way to improving the overall effect at the street level.

Category: HDC@LPC · Tags: , , ,

HDC@LPC – Designation Testimony – Coney Island Boardwalk & Central Harlem HD – April 17, 2018

Posted by on Monday, April 16, 2018 · Leave a Comment 

Statement of the Historic Districts Council

Designation Hearing

April 17, 2018

Item 1

LP-2583

BOROUGH OF BROOKLYN

CONEY ISLAND (RIEGELMANN) BOARDWALK (Scenic Landmark)

The Coney Island Boardwalk is arguably the most famous boardwalk on Earth and an obvious landmark. The Historic Districts Council strongly supports its designation as a New York City Scenic Landmark since by any measure, an accounting of New York City’s landmarks which does not include the Boardwalk would be irreducibly incomplete. We question, however, any other purpose which this designation might serve. 

As HDC understands it, current administrative interpretations of the Landmarks Commission’s policing power abrogates almost all authority the agency might exercise over this property. All future changes to the actual boardwalk, in style, material or even form will be reviewed in an advisory capacity without public testimony to help guide the Commissioners’ advice. The Public will have the opportunity to weigh in about existing buildings that fall within the bounds of the Scenic Landmark, but that was the case previously when the Art Commission had sole design review over the property. Issues of the historic context of this public property – the very Boards of the Boardwalk – still fall under the binding authority of the Art Commission and are ultimately controlled by the Parks Department, the very agency which replaced them with concrete in the first place. This is not even a case of closing the barn door after the horse has fled. Rather, this is an instance of putting up a sign identifying the empty building as a barn in the first place and calling it a job well done. Yes, we agree – the Coney Island Boardwalk is a landmark. Now please, treat it like one.

 

 

Item 2

LP – 2607

BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN

CENTRAL HARLEM WEST 130-132ND STREETS HISTORIC DISTRICT

HDC is thrilled that a Central Harlem Historic District is moving forward for designation. These blocks are not only stunning, but beyond their facades exists an incredible cultural history which shaped this city and the nation. Preserving these blocks offers a snapshot of the Harlem Renaissance, as census data from 1920 shows thirty-three residents employed in the arts. By 1930, there was a one-hundred and thirty-three percent increase of employment in the arts, including actors, night club entertainers, dancers, as well as a comedian and a photographer. There was tremendous talent, in only three blocks.

Within the proposed district is the Utopia Childrens’ House (170 West 130th Street), founded in 1926 by African-American women as a child care and recreation facility which doubled as a community center. Later renamed the Utopia Neighborhood Club House, it served the neighborhood as a cultural nerve center.

Artist Jacob Lawrence participated in youth art classes here, and would go on to create his 60 panel work, The Migration Series, which portrayed the African-American experience of the Great Migration. Lawrence’s family was a part of the migration, and settled in Harlem when he was a teenager. Lawrence attributed much of his artistic influence to the colors and shapes of Harlem itself. In 1941 his Migration collection was featured in Fortune magazine, and the same year he broke the color barrier and became the first African-American artist to be represented in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

In later years, the Utopia was the official headquarters and organized the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which was the largest gathering for Civil Rights of its time and where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his ground-shattering “I Have A Dream” speech. HDC suggests designating Utopia as an individual landmark for its cultural impact of change to the nation, not unlike the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. Its façade alteration, which is intact and includes the original stuccoed treatment, Juliet balconies and a coat of arms medallion, was designed by African-American architect Vertner Woodson Tandy.

Outside the district, West 133rd Street and the blocks west of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard share a visual cohesion and development pattern with the proposed district. More importantly, these blocks undoubtedly share the same criteria of the creative class found between 130th-132nd Streets and we ask LPC to consider this proposal today as phase one of landmarking in Central Harlem. While HDC understands that historic districts are contiguous, this district is such in plan only. To walk this historic district in its entirety, a pedestrian will have to leave the district several times to access each side street. For this reason, as avenues are being reserved as future development sites, HDC believes there is no reason to not allow an historic district to continue beyond avenues that are carved out.

While tremendous steps are being taken today to preserve some of Harlem’s treasures, there is more work to be done. With the recent tragic losses of the Renaissance Casino and Lenox Lounge, we implore the Commission to consider landmarking cultural institutions as well, so that we have a palimpsest of where the people lived and where the people spent time outside of the home. Minton’s Playhouse (206 West 118th Street), in operation since 1938, is the birth place of bebop and should be designated, as well as the New York New Amsterdam News Building (2293 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard) which has been a National Historic Landmark since 1976.

 

Category: HDC@LPC · Tags: ,

Preservation School: Spring 2018

Posted by on Monday, April 16, 2018 · Leave a Comment 

Join us for the spring 2018 series : Making a Strong Case for a Historic District – Wed. evenings in May

Join us for the spring 2018 series:

Making a Strong Case for a Historic District

 

The Historic Districts Council is pleased to present a series of classes that will illuminate the process of proposing a historic district on either the state or local level. This series is ideally suited to civic organizations, community board members, grassroots preservationists and anyone interested in how to preserve neighborhood character. In addition to the overall theme, the classes will provide you with general knowledge and vocabulary about historic preservation practice in New York City.

These four 60-minute sessions will begin at 6:00PM

at the Neighborhood Preservation Center, 232 East 11th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)

Classes are $15 each or $50 for all four.

 

Wednesday, May 2:             Preservation Tools for NYC

This introductory course will provide an overview of the regulations and funding mechanisms (both at the City and State levels) that exist to protect historic resources in New York City. The course will also outline the various organizations and entities that work to uphold and strengthen these mechanisms.
(Instructor: Simeon Bankoff)

RSVP Preservation Tools

 

Wednesday, May 9:             How to Perform a Buildings Survey

A survey is the first crucial step toward proposing a historic district. This course will include information on windshield surveys, defining district boundaries, identifying common and/or prevalent styles and building types, tips for taking great photos, how much research to include and how to present the information you’ve compiled. 
(Instructor: Kerri Culhane)

RSVP Buildings Survey

 

Wednesday, May 16:          How to Research NYC Buildings

This course will pick up where the previous course leaves off, delving into tools and strategies for researching the buildings in your proposed NYC district, including various repositories and document types. Learn the basics of how to investigate the origins and stories behind historic properties in order to make a strong case for the significance of your district and to present the most thorough information possible. 
(Instructor: Gregory Dietrich)

RSVP Buildings Research

 

Wednesday, May 23:          Community Outreach and Coalition Building (class begins at 6:15)

Once you’ve defined the area you want to preserve, the most important step is to build stakeholder and resident support. This class will feature a conversation between two community preservationists from Prospect Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, who led successful campaigns to garner the support of their neighbors, elected officials and local organizations. This important work bolstered their cases and led to the designation of local historic districts in both neighborhoods. 
(Instructors: Gib Veconi & Claudette Brady)

RSVP Outreach and Coalition

 


Classes are $15 each or $50 for all four.

RSVP ALL FOUR CLASSES

WITH FUNDING FROM:

Category: Event, Featured · Tags:

HDC@LPC – Testimony for LPC Hearing on April 17, 2018

Posted by on Monday, April 16, 2018 · 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

800 Marcy Avenue, Brooklyn – Saint George’s Protestant Episcopal Church – Individual Landmark

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1914700

A High Victorian style church building designed by Richard Michell Upjohn and built in 1887- 1888. Application is to modify stained glass windows.

In the absence of a true restoration of the wood tracery, HDC encourages the applicant to investigate a more responsible approach than the proposed heavy-handed aluminum frame, which is not befitting of this Richard Upjohn-designed Individual Landmark church. One option would be to remove and restore the stained glass, and until the wood tracery can be restored, install painted exterior plywood over the opening to stabilize it. Another option would be to install protective glazing on the exterior of the window while leaving the historic materials in place. Such an approach might buy some time until funds can be raised to do the work. Or, perhaps the applicant could investigate applying a painted wood profile around the aluminum frame to give it more depth and closer replicate the original tracery. Further consideration is certainly needed here in order to prevent something irreversible.

 

Item 4

334 President Street – Carroll Gardens Historic District

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1922176

A neo-Grec style rowhouse built by William J. Bedell in 1881. Application is to replace the sidewalk.

Because a significant portion of the original bluestone material is in good condition, we would advocate for its preservation and consolidation in bands closest to the house. If there is an issue with trucks damaging the pavement, we would suggest that the applicant consider installing bollards to protect against further damage. Unfortunately, there is little bluestone paving left in the very small Carroll Gardens Historic District, and efforts should be made to preserve what remains of this distinctive historic characteristic.

 

Item 5

1260 Bergen Street – Crown Heights North Historic District

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1921628

A building designed by Tucciarone & Amin and built c. 1972. Application is to alter the facades and areaway, and to install signage.

HDC does not find this to be an improvement to the existing building. The proposed changes would result in a more institutional style that would be completely out of context with the historic neighborhood. We ask the Commissioners to request a more welcoming design for the façade that responds better to its context, especially one that doesn’t exacerbate the fact that this building is already out of line with the street wall. We would even ask the Commissioners to request that the façade be pushed back in order to align with the adjacent buildings and street wall.

 

Item 7

41 Greenwich Avenue – Greenwich Village Historic District

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1912296

A late Greek Revival style house built in 1848-49 and later altered. Application is to reconstruct the brick façade and replace the cornice.

HDC has several concerns with this proposal. First, we are opposed to the installation of a fiberglass cornice in place of the original wood. A wood cornice would better honor this building and its long-term preservation. We also noted that certain architectural details might lead to water management issues once this design is carried out, so we encourage the Commissioners to discuss the apparent downward pitch of the cornice and the lack of drip details on the cornice, sills, and lintels. The proposed pitch would be a hazard at the street level, dripping rain and snow on passersby and posing a threat to the façade materials. We would suggest the Commissioners ask that the cornice be pitched to the roof, rather than to the street, and that drip edges be applied to the sills and lintels.

 

Item 12

990 Park Avenue, Manhattan – Church of St. Ignatius Loyola – Individual Landmark

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1920094

A Renaissance Revival church building designed by Schickel & Ditmars and built in 1895- 1900. Application is to remove and modify stained glass windows, and install an elevator enclosure, a barrier-free access ramp, and signage.

While we found most elements of this proposal to be well considered, we found the proposed LED signage to be a harsh contrast to this ornate building, lacking gravitas and appearing too commercial for this venerable institution. We feel that the original signage respects the austerity of the building, which has been a meeting place for many notable figures over the years.

 

Category: HDC@LPC, Uncategorized · Tags:

Joint Letter Requesting the Withdrawal of the Proposed LPC Rules Changes

Posted by on Friday, April 13, 2018 · 1 Comment 

We urge the LPC to withdraw the proposed Rules Amendments, about which we have serious concerns

READ PDF

Category: Featured, Landmarks Preservation Commission · Tags:

HDC Statement: Central Harlem West 130-132 Streets Historic District

Posted by on Thursday, April 12, 2018 · Leave a Comment 

HDC is thrilled that a Central Harlem Historic District is moving forward for designation. These blocks are not only stunning and a portrait of the New York that the world knows and loves, but beyond their facades exists an incredible cultural history which shaped this city and the nation. Preserving these blocks offers a tangible human snapshot of the Harlem Renaissance, as census data from 1920 shows thirty-three residents within these blocks employed in the arts. At this time, the most popular occupations included either musicians or actors. By 1930, there was a one-hundred and thirty-three percent increase in residents employed in the arts, with the addition of several female actors, night club entertainers, dancers, as well as a comedian and a photographer. There was tremendous talent, in only three blocks.

West 133rd Street and the blocks west of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard between Frederick Douglass Boulevard, notably the north side of West 131st Street and all of 132nd Street share a visual cohesion and development pattern with the district proposed for designation. More importantly, these blocks undoubtedly share the same criteria of the creative class found between 130th-132nd Streets and we ask LPC to consider this proposal today as phase one of landmarking in Central Harlem. While HDC understands the need for historic districts to be contiguous, this district is such in plan only. To walk this historic district in its entirety, a pedestrian or passenger will have to leave the district several times to walk down each side street. For this reason, as avenues are being reserved as future development sites, HDC believes there is no reason to not allow an historic district to continue beyond avenues that are carved out.

Within the proposed district is the Utopia Childrens’ House, at 170 West 130th Street, founded in 1926 by African-American women as a child care and recreation facility which doubled as a community center. After a brief closure, this property became the Utopia Neighborhood Club House, which continued to offer services to the neighborhood and youths. The façade alteration, which is intact and includes the original stuccoed treatment, Juliet balconies and a coat of arms medallion, was designed by African-American architect Vertner Woodson Tandy.

Artist Jacob Lawrence participated in youth art classes here, and would go on to create his 60 panel work, The Migration Series, which portrayed the African-American experience of the Great Migration. Lawrence’s family was a part of the migration, and settled in Harlem when he was a teenager. Lawrence attributed much of his artistic influence to the colors and shapes of Harlem itself. In 1941 his Migration collection was featured in Fortune magazine, and the same year he became the first African-American artist to be represented in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

In later years, the Utopia Neighborhood Club served as the official headquarters and organizers for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which was the largest gathering for Civil Rights of its time and also where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his ground-shattering “I Have A Dream” speech. HDC strongly suggests designating Utopia as an individual landmark for its cultural impact of change to the nation, not unlike the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village.

While tremendous steps are being taken today to preserve some of Harlem’s treasures, there is more work to be done. With the recent tragic losses of the Renaissance Casino and Lenox Lounge, we implore the Commission to consider landmarking  cultural institutions as well, so that we have a palimpsest of where the people lived and where the people spent time outside of the home. Minton’s Playhouse (206 West 118th Street), in operation since 1938, is the birth place of bebop and should be designated, as well as the New York New Amsterdam News Building (2293 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard) which has been a National Historic Landmark since 1976.

Category: Designation · Tags: , , , , ,

HDC@LPC – Testimony for LPC Hearing on April 10, 2018

Posted by on Friday, April 6, 2018 · 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

467 Tompkins Avenue – Manhattan Avenue Historic District

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1921508

A vacant lot. Application is to construct a new building.

HDC is pleased with the restraint seen in this proposal and finds the design and proportions to be correct and tasteful, and the materials are contextual. We were ambivalent about the first floor treatment of the front façade. As the historic precedent is a storefront which is not being replaced, there is room for interpretation in this space as long as it remains separated from the upper floor by a belt course. We look forward to the Commissioners discussion about this element. Regarding the roof, HDC suggests that the bulkhead be minimized or slanted to minimize the visibility of this mass. It is unclear why a parapet is needed on the bulkhead, and if removed, would drop the total height to only 10 feet.


Item 7

110-118 Riverside Drive – Riverside – West End Extension I Historic District

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1919187

A Renaissance Revival style apartment building designed by Gronenberg and Leuchtag and built in 1928-29. Application is to establish a master plan governing the future replacement of windows.

HDC would like to voice its support of this window master plan and applaud the use of a divided light configuration which is based on historic precedent. This building will have a completely different and improved appearance because of the care that was taken to closely replicate the details of the fenestration. We also appreciate the use of quality, aluminum clad, wood windows on a building of this size. We often see applications to the LPC asking for the subpar, aluminum one-over-one master plans, and this application is proof that preservation can be done right, in authentic materials.


Item 8

250 West 71st Street – West End Collegiate Historic District

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1915489

A Renaissance Revival style rowhouse with alterations, designed by Thom and Wilson and built in 1892. Application is to alter the front and rear facades, construct a rooftop addition, and extend flues at the roof.

Due to the historic visual cohesion of this group of Renaissance Revival style rowhouses, HDC finds the first set back of the proposed rooftop addition to be too close to the edge and therefore too visible from the streetscape. We suggest that it be pushed back as this visibility mars the uninterrupted cornice line of these buildings.

Category: HDC@LPC · Tags: , , ,

2018 Grassroots Preservation Awards and Preservation Party

Posted by on Thursday, April 5, 2018 · Leave a Comment 

Tuesday, April 24th, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Saint Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, 131 E 10th Street / / /

Honoring –  Bowery Boys; George Janes; Susan Olsen; Karen Ansis; 6sqft; State Senator Brad Hoylman / / /

Every year, the Historic Districts Council celebrates New York’s brightest community preservationists with our Annual Grassroots Preservation Awards. The party will take place on Tuesday, April 24th, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Saint Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, 131 E 10th Street, New York, NY 10003 and we hope you’ll join us.

 

CO-SPONSOR TICKETS

 

INDIVIDUAL TICKETS

Grassroots Awards

 

Mickey Murphy Award

Friend From the Media

 

Friend in High Places

 

CO-SPONSOR TICKETS

 

INDIVIDUAL TICKETS

Category: Special Blog · Tags:

2018 Grassroots Preservation Awards and Preservation Party

Posted by on Thursday, April 5, 2018 · 2 Comments 

Tuesday, April 24th, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Saint Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, 131 E 10th Street, NY NY

Every year, the Historic Districts Council celebrates New York’s brightest community preservationists with our Annual Grassroots Preservation Awards. The party will take place on Tuesday, April 24th, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Saint Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, 131 E 10th Street, New York, NY 10003 and we hope you’ll join us.

 

CO-SPONSOR TICKETS

 

INDIVIDUAL TICKETS

Grassroots Awards

 

Mickey Murphy Award

Friend From the Media

 

Friend in High Places

 

CO-SPONSOR TICKETS

 

INDIVIDUAL TICKETS

Category: Featured, Grassroots Awards · Tags:

About Us

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

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