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




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


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



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

HDC@LPC – March 3, 2015

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.



141 Clinton Street – Brooklyn Heights Historic District

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

Community District 2, Brooklyn


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.



54 State Street – Brooklyn Heights Historic District

167221 – Block 258, lot 137, Zoned R6

Community District 2, Brooklyn


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.



463 Greenwich Street – TriBeCa North Historic District

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

Community District 1, Manhattan


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.



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

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

Community District 2, Manhattan


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.



15 8th Avenue – Greenwich Village Historic District

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

Community District 2, Manhattan


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.



282 West 4th Street – Greenwich Village Historic District

162099 – Block 622, lot 48, Zoned R6

Community District 2, Manhattan


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.



57 Greenwich Avenue – Greenwich Village Historic District

151330 – Block 613, lot 61, C2-6

Community District 2, Manhattan


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.



17 East 80th Street – Metropolitan Museum Historic District

162686 – Block 1492, lot 11, Zoned R8B

Community District 8, Manhattan


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.



187 Lenox Avenue – Mount Morris Park Historic District

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

Community District 10, Manhattan


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.


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


Voices from the Neighborhood




Deborah Young


Suzanne Spellen



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






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  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!


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


$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 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 · 1 Comment 

For Immediate Release:     February 24, 2015

Contact:  Linda Cronin-Gross or Sonya Landau, LCG Communications:
o: 718.853.5568;, (c: 917.767.1141);, (c: 520.204.3390)


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, 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.



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


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.

178 Court Street – Cobble Hill Historic District
163310- Block 297, lot 31, Zoned C-2
Community District 6, Brooklyn
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.


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

Community District 5, Manhattan

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.

38 West 83rd Street – Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District
164475- Block 1196, lot 49, Zoned R7-2
Community District 7, Manhattan
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.


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

160557- Block 1241, lot 6, Zoned R8
Community District 7, Manhattan
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.
5 Riverside Drive – West End-Collegiate Historic District   
163561- Block 1184, lot 28, Zoned R10A
Community District 7, Manhattan
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.
5 East 88th Street – Carnegie Hill Historic District
165147- Block 1500, lot 6, Zoned R8B
Community District 8, Manhattan
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 


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 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


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


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: ,

HDC@LPC – February 10, 2015

Posted by on Monday, February 9, 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.



920 Broadway – Ladies’ Mile Historic District

165207- Block 849, lot 63, Zoned M1-5M

Community District 5, Manhattan


A neo-Renaissance style store and loft building designed by Schwartz & Gross, and built in 1917. Application is to install new storefront infill, signage and banner poles.

920 Bway-2-crop

HDC generally finds the proposed signage to be appropriate, though pin lettering would be far less obtrusive than the large square sign over the entrance. Our committee also found the bracket sign right next to the entrance to be redundant, given the sign above the door. We also ask that all options be considered in order to avoid covering any of the extant leaded glass.




3 East 57th Street – Individual Landmark

161175- Block 1293, lot 5, Zoned C5-3

Community District 5, Manhattan


An Art Deco style retail building designed by Shreve Lamb and Harmon and built in 1929-30.  Application is to install new storefront infill and alter the base of the building.

3 East 57th Street-1-crop

3 East 57th Street-4-crop

Though unfortunately lost, this building’s original ornate, bronze-framed storefront was one of the finest in the city. The present storefront leaves much to be desired, but it at least maintains and respects the color palette of the rest of the building. HDC finds the proposed design to stray too far from the storefront’s intended contribution to the streetscape, taking the building in the wrong direction. We would much prefer to see a design that uses the original Art Deco storefront as inspiration, creating an elegant future by honoring its past. However, the proposal seeks to clad the storefront in a flat white marble, which would starkly contrast the dark palette of the floors above. At the very least, HDC would suggest that options be explored to keep the sides of the storefront a darker color to maintain continuity from the upper floors to the base. It would be a shame for the building to lose its monumental verticality, a signature style for Shreve, Lamb & Harmon.




1271 Avenue of the Americas – Interior Landmark

165624- Block 1003, lot 29, Zoned C6-6.5, C5-3

Community District 5, Manhattan


An International style commercial skyscraper ground-floor lobby, designed by Harrison & Abramowitz & Harris and built in 1956-60. Application is to restore a passageway; remove walls; relocate an entry; replace doors, elevator turnstiles, terrazzo flooring and glass ceiling panels; and install reception desks, lighting, sprinklers and security cameras.

1271 Avenue of the Americas-1-crop

1271 Avenue of the Americas-2-crop

HDC applauds this sensitive restoration project, which includes the replacement in-kind of terrazzo floors and glass ceiling panels. We thank the applicant for their thoughtful approach to this very distinguished – and deserving – Modern interior.




Category: HDC@LPC · Tags:

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

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