The American immigration story and the important role Staten Island played


Staten Island was home to the Marine Hospital quarantine station that operated from 1799-1858.  It was located approximately where the Staten Island Ferry Terminal is today, up the hill past Borough Hall and across from the St. George Theatre. In the 1840-1850s, there was a complex of “pest” tents and hospital structures. Patients were segregated by disease, and men, women and children were mostly housed separately. Staten Island, Manhattan and Bayonne and Elizabeth, N.J., residents who were infected with diseases could be sent to the Marine Hospital.

Once in America, some immigrants were fortunate to be able to stay with family or townspeople, but many were not so lucky. Makeshift Irish shantytowns developed along the North Shore, where the immigrants waited, hoped and prayed. Many patients perished and were buried in one of two cemeteries operated by the facility. Immediately upon death, they were unceremoniously buried in mass graves.
When the family visited or made an inquiry, they were informed that their loved one had died and was already buried. No death certificates were issued, no cemetery burial log kept. Some families had the doctor sign a notarized letter attesting to the death and burial. Countless people simply vanished.

On Sunday, April 27, at 12:30 p.m., Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries of Staten Island (FACSI), in conjunction with the American Irish Legislators Society of New York State, will conduct a memorial reinterment service for the permanent entombment in the recreated cemetery located on the grounds of the St. George courthouse.

This event is free and open to the public. FACSI is producing a commemorative booklet and encourages all residents to memorialize their immigrant ancestors and to tell their American immigration story.
Advertisements cost $35 for Ð page, $70 for ½ page and $140 a full page. Ads should be sent via email (pictures should be in pdf form) or via regular mail to:

Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries, 158 Myrtle Ave., Staten Island, N.Y., 10310 or FACSI has restored and currently maintains 11 Staten Island cemeteries on the Island.
To read this full article click here 

To learn more about the reinterment click here

For more information contact Lynn Rogers, the executive director of Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries. or 917-545-3309 or visit FACSI on Facebook.

Reinterment at Court House (Marine Hospital) Cemetery

Please Join us for the Reinterment at Court House (Marine Hospital) Cemetery
Sunday, April 27, 2014, 12:30 pm, limited seating
Central Avenue and Hyatt St.

Marine Hospital Quarantine Station (1799-1858) & Commemorative Booklet

Between 1799 and 1858, Staten Island was home to the Marine Hospital Quarantine Station, ALL ships entering into New York Harbor during those years were stopped and if New York medical inspectors found anyone on the ships suffering from infectious diseases they were removed and held at the Staten Island facility to await their outcome. Local residents from Staten Island, Manhattan and the adjacent communities in New Jersey were also sent to this facility.

Tens of thousands of immigrants, ships crews, merchant and military personnel were held in quarantine which was located in the St. George neighborhood of Staten Island. Many died and were buried en masse in cemeteries operated by the Marine Hospital. One of those cemeteries was on the site of the new Court House complex in St. George. During construction of the court facilities, a team of professional archeologists exhumed a portion of the mass graves.

On Sunday, April 27 at 12:30 p.m., Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries will conduct a funeral service and reinterment of those remains in a recreated cemetery on the grounds of the new Court House. Participating at the reinterment will be Monsignor James Dorney, Reverend Erick Sorensen, Assemblyman Michael Cusick who is also president of the American Irish Legislators Society of New York State, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Staten Island Pipes and Drums, Staten Island OutLOUD and tenor Andy Cooney.

Lynn Rogers, Executive Director of the FACSI notes, “Many of these immigrants, mostly Irish and German, whose only reason for being on Staten Island was because of the quarantine decided to stay and make their new life here. Today, they are 6th and 7th generation Staten Islanders. It would be so fitting if some of the heirs of those first immigrants were to join us on the 27th.”

Hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrants arrived in New York between 1845 and 1852, as the Great Hunger aka Potato Famine ravaged the Irish nation. One New York newspaper reported in April, 1851, “The number of poor people from Ireland who are wandering through the streets of Staten Island in a starving condition is dreadful.” Invariably when these immigrants died on Staten Island, either on the streets or in the Marine Hospital, they were immediately buried. No death certificates were issued and no cemetery logs kept. They simply vanished and were never heard from again.

“It was a ghastly end for so many people who had left their countries in the hope of a new life in America but died so very close to their dream,” Ms. Rogers says. “Their fate was tragic, but now, more than a century and half later, they will receive the recognition and benediction they never received in life.”

The Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries is producing a commemorative booklet and is seeking memorials, family immigration stories and sponsors; $35 1/3 page; $70 1/2 page; $140 full page. Pictures ok. For more information contact or call 917-545-3309.

This entry was posted in News/Events on April 27, 2014.

Category: Six To Celebrate 2014 · Tags:

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

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


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

HDC@LPC – March 25, 2014

Posted by on Monday, March 24, 2014 · Leave a Comment 

Item 1

LP – 2475



Every building in New York has a story to tell. The structure at 334 East 14th Street is unique in that it tells so many stories of so many people in just a brief glance, showing the layers of history and waves of residents of the East Village.

The First German Baptist Church, founded in 1846 at Stanton and Essex Streets, followed its congregants north and in 1866 hired Julius Boekell to design a new church. The Romanesque style was popular for church buildings of the time.  German Protestant churches, though, set themselves apart from Catholic churches with a simpler version of the style on a less imposing scale, a tradition seen here.

Sixty years later, the Ukrainian Autocephalic Orthodox Church of St. Volodymyr made its home at 334 East 14th Street.  Reflecting the roots of the congregation, pear- or bud-shaped domes were added in place of the original spires. This Ukrainian Baroque feature, more elongated than the onion-shaped domes of Russian churches, was fitting for a church that was not under the ecclesiastic jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate.

St. Volodymyr’s congregation moved to the Upper West Side in 1962, and Congregation Tifereth Israel purchased the property. Founded in 1949 for Jewish residents in the newly constructed Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, the congregation had met in a variety of locations before making a permanent home here at 334 East 14th Street. Like the prior worshippers, the congregation kept most of the 1866 structure intact while adding something to reflect its background, a stained glass window featuring the Star of David.

HDC urges the commission to landmark this architecturally and culturally important structure which has been calendared since 1966.


Item 2

LP – 2561


ARDSLEY GARAGE, 165 East 77th Street

New York City’s first commercial automobile garage was constructed in 1897, making the Ardsley Garage one of the city’s oldest, built just 17 years later. By 1910, the automobile was experiencing a surge in popularity, becoming a common fixture on city streets and necessitating the construction of large numbers of parking facilities. Car manufacturing companies, like the Ardsley Motor Car Company, were the first to construct commercial garages. After the company ceased to produce automobiles, the Ardsley Garage became an important source of revenue, functioning as both a repair shop and parking facility. In its latter role, the garage stored new cars by other manufacturers whose models were displayed in showrooms along nearby Park Avenue in Midtown. The structure thus stands as a reminder of the dawn of the automobile in New York City, and of Park Avenue’s past as a center for automobile sales.

The monumental garage was designed by George F. Pelham, a prolific and very successful architect who practiced in New York for roughly 40 years beginning in 1890. His design for the Ardsley Garage was classically-inspired, with arched window openings and pilasters running the full height of its five stories, but with distinctly modern touches, which was appropriate for the very modern automobile business at the time. Its highly stylized façade is graced with geometric ornament and its parapet includes raised ends, giving the illusion of bookends on a very ornate shelf.  Each of these raised edges is topped with a spoked wheel motif to reference and advertise the building’s purpose, which it retains to this day.

The façade’s white terra-cotta cladding is wonderfully intact, and the existence of seemingly original, multi-pane windows is a feat unto itself, especially for a commercial building. This detail lends texture and provides a harmony with the historic terra-cotta, making the building not only significant for its cultural past, but for its service of displaying steadfast architectural wholeness for the future.

HDC encourages and celebrates the designation of the Ardsley Garage.


Item 3


BOROUGH OF Manhattan

134602- Block 696, lot 65-

210-218 11th Avenue aka 564-568 W 25th Street – West Chelsea Historic District

A Gothic Revival style factory building designed by Shire & Kaufman and built in 1910-11. Application is to establish a master plan governing the future installation of windows.

Item 12-1

Given that the existing steel windows are quite bulky, the aluminum replacements, which very closely replicate the look of historic windows, represent a step in the right direction. HDC thanks the applicant for taking care in finding the right window, with muntins that match the originals, to improve the building’s appearance, and finds the aluminum material to be appropriate in this industrial setting.


Item 7


BOROUGH OF Manhattan

153558- Block 1379, lot 17,115,16-

740 Madison Ave, 23,25 E.64th St – Upper East Side Historic District

A rowhouse built in 1879 and altered in the neo-French Renaissance style by Mantle Fielding in 1901 and in 1919; a rowhouse designed by John G. Prague and built in 1879-80 and altered at thte upper two floors in the neo-Federal style by Pickering and Walker in 1907-08, and again in 1926 by J.R. Bonner and A. weise; and an Italianate style rowhouse designed by John G. Prague and built in 1879-80 and altered in 1919 and 1926. Application is to alter the facades, install new storefront, excavate the basement, and construct an addition.

Item 30-2

Item 30-5

While an application for this same proposal was approved in 2007, HDC is grateful for the opportunity to once again comment before the Commission. HDC was and is opposed to this application for faηade alterations and storefronts. LPC’s policy has been that once the corner is turned on to a side street, storefronts should be more subdued than those on the avenue. Instead, this plan continues an overtly commercial feel three buildings into the block. The uncharacteristic quantity of double-height glazing gives the buildings a distinctly commercial character, while the upper floors appear to be standing on stilts. We feel this would be in questionable taste, even if this were not a landmark.


Item 10


BOROUGH OF Manhattan

151478- Block 2109, lot 96-

434 West 162nd Street – Jumel Terrace Historic District

A transitional rowhouse with Romanesque Revival style and Classical style features, designed by Henry Fouchaux, and builtin in 1896. Application is to remove a skylight, install a bulkhead, awning, trellis,and HVAC equipment, raise chimney flues at the roof,and modify masonry openings at the rear facade.

Item 31-2

Item 31-3

While HDC finds the rear alterations in this application to be acceptable, what is being called a “bulkhead” on the top of the building reads as a rather large rooftop addition that would be highly visible from multiple angles around the block. It would represent a significant addition of height and bulk in a material that is inappropriate to a building of this type and age, and to the district as a whole. The proposed bulkhead houses a set of stairs, but since the HVAC equipment will be located elsewhere on the roof and no other function has been proposed for the space, HDC asks that the height be lowered and more consideration be made to blend it better with the existing architecture of this charming row.



Category: HDC@LPC · Tags: , , , ,

Position Available: Help HDC Help NYC’s Communities

Posted by on Friday, March 21, 2014 · Leave a Comment 

Position Opening: Director of Preservation & Community Outreach


The Historic Districts Council, the citywide advocate for New York’s historic neighborhoods, is seeking candidates for the position of Director of Preservation & Community Outreach. This is a full-time position who will work to maintain and further develop HDC’s neighborhood-based historic preservation advocacy programs and to represent HDC to both the general public and our neighborhood constituency constituency through frequent communications.

Applicant should have experience in community organizing and providing support services to community groups and individuals. Knowledge of New York City architecture and history preferred; familiarity with historic preservation policies and practices strongly recommended. Experience with New York City  government agencies (such as the City Council, City Planning and Landmarks Preservation Commission) is beneficial.  Applicant must have strong communication skills and be comfortable representing HDC and its mission to the public, press, and before government agencies in person and through writing.

Fulltime position, flexible schedule but some evening hours required. Full benefits include paid vacation and health coverage.  Salary commensurate with experience.  NYC-area residency required.

Please respond  with resume and a cover letter of approximately 300 words to:


Simeon Bankoff, Executive Director

Historic Districts Council

232 East 11th Street

New York, NY 10003

Fax: 212 614-9127


Category: Blog, HDC@LPC, Posting, Six to Celebrate, Young Professional · Tags:

Voices from the Neighborhood: Linda Mariano from FROGG (Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus)

Posted by on Friday, March 21, 2014 · 1 Comment 

Voices from the Neighborhood


LindaMTelephone Interview on experiences with the Six to Celebrate Program

With Susan Hopper, HDC Board Member

Date of interview: 8-30-2013

Name: Linda Mariano



Email/Tel:  718-935-0446

Neighborhood/Group/Year of participation:  Gowanus/FROGG (Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus); 2011 Six to Celebrate Participant


Why did you apply to Six to Celebrate?  

I had previously been contacted by the Historic Districts Council to help survey candidates in the 39th Election District. At that time, I was archiving information about Gowanus and also exploring landmarking and National Register listing. We are advocating for the reclamation of the industrial sector for adaptive reuse by new light- and high-tech industries. Our goals are to protect and preserve our industrial heritage and its architecture, and to create new and much needed jobs. So when HDC contacted me, I mentioned the work to Frampton [Tolbert, HDC’s Deputy Director] and he suggested applying to Six to Celebrate.

What have been your group’s biggest accomplishments to date?

Our group is the Friends and Relatives of Greater Gowanus (FROGG), a community group with 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.  We are big in what we have accomplished!  Every year we get a little bigger. We have about 40 on list serve, and an average of 12 at monthly meetings. One of FROGG’s biggest accomplishments was to advocate for the Gowanus Canal to become a Federal Superfund Site, and we got it done!

Another success was when we fought a battle at the Board of Standards and Appeals against a developer who wanted to tear down a century-old carriage house and build a condo. I gathered support to fight the application, and in 2004 it was denied. The building is now an event space that serves many boroughs.  On a smaller scale, FROGG has given tours for NYU and Columbia, Pratt, and Brooklyn Polytechnic, and recently were judges for projects by planning students from NYU. We have also given tours for FEMA’s cultural and historic division.

How has HDC’s Six to Celebrate program helped you to address your goals? 

It gave me the courage to address our goals and find my own way. Frampton has been a guiding force, making suggestions on how to proceed.  He encouraged me to get grants for an architectural historian to conduct a survey for the National Register listing, and we raised $45,000 that way. Because of Six to Celebrate, we received many donations from neighbors including some who worked in Gowanus. Support also came from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Lilly Auchincloss Foundation, Citizens Committee for New York City, New Yorkers for Better Neighborhoods, the New York Landmarks Conservancy and the Preservation League of New York State.  Marvelous! Through HDC, we have had coverage for our projects in newspapers and blogs, and on the HDC website.  We are always getting calls.

Simeon Bankoff [HDC’s Executive Director], and HDC staff are providing help with the property owners list for the National Register work. Nadezhda Williams [HDC’s Director of Preservation and Research] was very supportive, coming forward with information about preservation. HDC wrote letters of recommendation for our grant applications, helped designed a walking tour of Gowanus, and created an illustrated neighborhood guide. Gregory Dietrich, the architectural historian who conducted the survey, has been a mentor and practical visionary for our project. He and I gave a tour for staff from the NYS Office of Historic Preservation. On Frampton’s recommendation, I contacted Erin Tobin of the NYS Preservation League and gave her a tour. At the celebration for the nomination to the National Register, she presented FROGG with a check from the League.  Erin said the project was so strong it could stand as model for the rest of New York State!

What are your next steps? 

We are working toward a National Register listing of the Gowanus industrial corridor and expect a review in the spring of 2014. Our survey of the area should strengthen the justification for preservation, including wetlands restoration.  We hope this project will emphasize that industry, particularly non-polluting, is alive and well in Gowanus.

Finally, why has living in an historic neighborhood been important to you?

I live in an old row house that was a wreck when we found it! It had no windows, no doors, no plumbing, was bashed in, and there had been a fire.  Area banks wouldn’t take a chance on Gowanus, but a bank in Queens gave us a home improvement loan, and we did almost everything ourselves. If I had known Gowanus was a toxic waterway in the beginning, I would have had second thoughts.  But I have come to love this neighborhood because of what it was, and what it could be. It could be protected if people do the right thing!

For more information about FROGG visit:


Category: Featured, Neighborhood Partner, Voices from the Neighborhood · Tags:

District Lines- Spring 2014

Posted by on Thursday, March 20, 2014 · Leave a Comment 

The Historic Districts Council’s newsletter, District Lines, was published regularly since 1987 to 2009, and covered contemporary preservation issues throughout New York City, as well as giving special care to highlight broader issues of preservation that have an impact on public policy. To read the previous issues click here . HDC resumed District Lines with the Spring 2014 issue; to read the full issue click here 



























To read the complete publication click here to view the PDF 


Category: District Lines · Tags:

…What Was That, Designation Freezes The City? I Beg To Differ

Posted by on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 · Leave a Comment 


March 2014, Volume 11, Number 3

In This Issue:

New Design + Old Places Post Conference Tours

    Modern Interventions in Park Slope 

park slope

Sunday, March 30, 2014, 11am

While there is rarely room in Brooklyn’s Park Slope Historic District for an entire new building, that doesn’t mean there are not a myriad of examples of modern additions and alterations to historic structures. Join tour leader Matt Postal as he highlights some of the contemporary responses in this largely residential community, both inside and outside the designated historic district.

Click here to purchase tickets for the tour



Brooklyn Heights Historic District at Nearly 50


Saturday, April 5, 2014, 2pm

Brooklyn Heights was the very first historic district in New York City, designated in 1965. In the decades since, this largely residential enclave has seen numerous additions and alterations to its diverse stock of row houses, distinguished churches and cultural landmarks. Join our guides, urban historians Francis Morrone and Liz McEnaney, to explore what new design looks like among the bricks and brownstones of New York’s oldest historic district.

Click here to purchase tickets for the tour


Douglaston’s New Designs


Saturday, April 26, 2014, time TBA

The Douglaston Historic District is one of the preeminent examples of suburban-style housing with large, free-standing homes in a range of architectural styles. The houses are made more impressive by their sizable lots and mature greenery. The arcadian and expansive nature of the community has allowed for many new buildings to be constructed while still maintaining the historic character of the neighborhood. Join Kevin Wolfe, an HDC adviser and the architect of numerous new buildings within the district, as he presents some of his own landmarks-approved projects and discusses what appropriateness means in Douglaston.

Click here to purchase tickets for the tour 



March 18, 2014

The Historic Districts Council reviews and testifies on an average of 40 items per month for propsed work to designated buildings. Below is a list of the March 18th items we testified on. To read the full testimony go to our HDC@LPC page 

Knox Building drawing

Item 18: 452 5th Avenue- Knox Building

  • Item 1105 Hudson Street – TriBeCa West Historic District-Application is to construct a barrier-free access ramp and lift.
  • Item 419 West 8th Street – Greenwich Village Historic District-Application is to modify windows installed without LPC permit(s).
  •  Item 533-36 Washington Square West – Greenwich Village Historic District-Application is to replace windows.
  • Item 6304 Bleecker StreetGreenwich Village Historic District-Application is to replace windows.
  • Item 9197 Bleecker Street – South Village Historic District- Application is to install storefront infill.
  • Item 13860 Broadway aka 27-29 E. 17th St. – Ladies’ Mile Historic District-Application is to construct a rooftop addition and replace storefront infill.
  • Item 14130 Fifth Avenue – Ladies’ Mile Historic District-Application is to install new entrance infill.
  • Item 15105 Fifth Avenue – Ladies’ Mile Historic District-Application is to alter the faηade and install new storefront infill and signage.
  • Item 18452 5th Avenue – Individual Landmark-Application is to request that the LPC amend a report to the City Planning Commission relating to an application for a Modification of Bulk pursuant 74-711 of the Zoning Resolution.
  • Item 19488 Madison Avenue – Individual Landmark-Application is to alter the ground floor, install signage and modify the marquee.
  • Item 211230 Avenue of the Americas, aka 53-75 W 48th – Individual Landmark- Application is to modify and replace storefront infill.
  • Item 2225 Tudor City Place – Tudor City Historic District- Application is to establish a master plan governing the future replacement windows.

Category: Blog, E-bulletin · Tags:

HDC@LPC – March 18, 2014

Posted by on Monday, March 17, 2014 · Leave a Comment 

Item 1
BOROUGH OF Manhattan
152108- Block 187, lot 30-
105 Hudson Street – TriBeCa West Historic District
A Beaux-Arts style office building by Carrere and Hastings and built in 1890-92, with a four-story addition designed by Henri Fouchaux and built in 1905. Application is to construct a barrier-free access ramp and lift.

Item 1-3

Though Tribeca abounds in utilitarian buildings where loading docks and entrance ramps are plentiful, this particular building is not an example of this typology. The obstruction of this building’s elegant base with both a ramp and a lift seems too much to ask. HDC asks that either a slope be configured for the ramp to comply with accessibility codes or that the applicant consider a way to drop the entrance and place the lift inside the building, where it will have a less deleterious effect on the building’s base.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications


Item 4
150033- Block 572, lot 53-
19 West 8th Street – Greenwich Village Historic District
An Greek Revival style townhouse built in 1845-46, and altered in the early 20th century. Application is to modify windows installed without LPC permit(s).

Item 4-3

While HDC wishes that this application had been presented to the Commission prior to the work being done, we thank the applicant for moving this building in the right direction. The restoration of the original fenestration pattern is a welcome improvement.

LPC determination: Approved


Item 5
151306- Block 552, lot 22,24-
33-36 Washington Square West – Greenwich Village Historic District
A neo-Federal style apartment building desiged by C.F Winkelman and built in 1929. Application is to replace windows.

Item 5-2

This building occupies a prominent spot at the northwest corner of Washington Square Park, necessitating a very close look at proposed window replacements. Though not the worst window replacements ever presented to the Commission, these rather bulky extruded aluminum windows are to replace the existing steel casement windows. HDC asks that rather than replacing all of the windows at once – a huge job for a building this size – that casement windows be installed in a phased approach. HDC suggests the use of thermally broken, rolled steel windows, which would be slightly thicker than the existing steel windows, but less thick than the proposed aluminum. This option supports thicker insulated glass, making it a sustainable choice and worth the extra cost in the long run.

LPC determination: Approved


Item 6
151683- Block 588, lot 25-
304 Bleecker Street – Greenwich Village Historic District
A dwelling originally built in 1829, converted to commercial use, with a fourth floor added in the early 20th century. Application is to replace windows.

Item 6-2

While HDC does not object to the window replacements on the lower floors, the windows on the top floor give us pause. The top floor studio is a character-defining feature of this neighborhood and these windows play a special part in that story. As seen in the tax photo, the building originally featured casement windows, not the six-over-six double hung windows being proposed here. The restoration of this top floor to its appearance in the tax photo, including the transom above the studio, would go a long way toward bringing this building in the right direction and preserving the physical evidence of Greenwich Village’s history as a vital artistic community.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications


Item 9
152569- Block 542, lot 58-
197 Bleecker Street – South Village Historic District
A building built in 1851-54 and altered in the Arts and Crafts style by Charles E. Miller in 1923. Application is to install storefront infill.

Item 9-3

While the removal of the existing storefront does not present a problem, HDC finds that the proposed aluminum storefront lacks character. Its flat surface recalls a storefront one might find in a shopping mall or similarly contemporary environment, and contrasts with the storefront seen in the tax photo, which shows varied depths. The approval of this bland aluminum frame would signal the homogenization of this streetscape and set a bad precedent for the South Village as a whole. However, HDC appreciates that the proposed awning reveals the historic, decorative brickwork lintel.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications


Item 13
148061- Block 846, lot 26-
860 Broadway aka 27-29 E. 17th St. – Ladies’ Mile Historic District
A neo-Grec style commercial store building designed by Detlef Lienau and built in 1883-84 and latered and refaced by F. H. Dewey & Company in 1925. Application is to construct a rooftop addition and replace storefront infill.

Item 13-3

The north end of Union Square is a treasure trove of Individual Landmarks and buildings within the Ladies’ Mile Historic District. While 860 Broadway has endured some sad alterations to its faηades, particularly the loss of most of its original neo-Grec ornament, its prominent cornice remains a signature component of the building, and an intact feature that should be recognized and preserved. The enormous addition being proposed on this very visible splayed corner building threatens to transform the graceful cornice into nothing but a gutter for a historically misguided 21st century mansard roof. The cornice was intended to be the building’s apex and crown, not the base for another structure to overshadow and overwhelm it.

It might be tempting to look to the Guardian Life Building (currently the W Hotel), at 50 Union Square East, as inspiration for a mansard roof atop 860 Broadway. However, the Guardian Life Building’s grand four-story mansard is original to the building, proportional to its twenty-story composition and appropriate to the overall design of the building, which elsewhere features ornamental cartouches and garlands in the French style. The bulky mansard roof on 860 Broadway would make the building roughly 30% taller, becoming an affront to the building and to the streetscapes on both East 17th Street and Broadway. HDC finds the lack of a setback to be particularly egregious, as such an obtrusive intervention would appear as though it was purporting to be an original component of the building’s design, rather than a necessary fixture deferring to its historic setting. HDC asks that the Commission reject this proposal and preserve the extant cornice and proportions of 860 Broadway.

LPC determination: No action


Item 14
152720- Block 820, lot 38-
130 Fifth Avenue – Ladies’ Mile Historic District
A neo-Renaissance style store and loft building deisgned by Robert Maynicke and builtin 1902-03. Application is to install new entrance infill.

Item 14-1

While the existing entrance to this building already represents a bad intervention, HDC finds that the proposed entrance takes the building farther in the wrong direction. The uniform sheet of glass gives the masonry columns the appearance of floating, seemingly abandoned, rather than being integrated into a historically appropriate entrance with doors and sidelights that evoke the rhythm of the building. Rather than maintaining the glass void, HDC asks that a more sensitive entrance be investigated.

LPC determination: No staff


Item 15
153775- Block 846, lot 71-
105 Fifth Avenue – Ladies’ Mile Historic District
A neo-Renaissance style store and loft building deisnged by Robert Maynicke and builtin 1901-02. Application is to alter the faηade and install new storefront infill and signage.

Item 15-6

In general, HDC finds that while the existing fenestration pattern correlates to the appearance of the historic photos, the proposed intervention is acceptable. However, the plentiful illumination and signage, including built-in light boxes around the perimeter of the display windows, seems to overwhelm the building, especially given that the new tenant will be reusing the existing corner sign and flagpole. The building’s architectural contributions to the streetscape are thus diminished in favor of the attention called to its tenant’s identity. HDC asks that some of these elements be toned down. Though not part of this proposal, HDC hopes to one day see a proposal for the restoration of the building’s original residential doorway.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications


Item 18
153791- Block 841, lot 49-
452 5th Avenue – Individual Landmark
A Beaux-Arts style commerical building designed by John H. Duncan and built in 1901-02. Application is to request that the LPC amend a report to the City Planning Commission relating to an application for a Modification of Bulk pursuant 74-711 of the Zoning Resolution.

Item 18-2

The highly visible and iconic skyline along Bryant Park’s southern edge is graced with a variety of rooflines that all feature ornate crowns. The Beaux-Arts style Knox Building, constructed for the Knox Hat Company, is no exception, with its two-story mansard roof adorned with elaborate dormer windows and plentiful ornament. According to the designation report, “The mansard is crowned by an intricate torch and anthemion cresting with eagles, an appropriate termination to this exuberant design. Whether conscious or not, this emphasis on the roof…seems entirely appropriate for a hat manufacturer and retailer.” It is worth noting that such an emphasis was also employed for the American Radiator Building in the center of the block, whose rooftop setbacks served to subliminally advertise the company it housed. The building’s rich silhouette was painted black and gold to give the appearance of a “giant glowing coal,” according to the American Radiator Building’s designation report. While it might be beyond the scope of the LPC’s purview – as defined by “harmonious relationship” – HDC feels strongly that it is within the LPC’s moral authority to take into account this newcomer’s remarkable landmark neighbors.

Thus, HDC finds that 20 West 40th Street’s flat, minimalist rooftop represents a crucial misstep in the attempt to respond to the Knox Building and its other neighbors. In order for the new structure to be harmonious with the Knox Building, a more graceful apex should be investigated. Additionally, HDC asks that the applicant consider the Knox Building’s richly articulated faηade, with rustication, corner quoins and punched windows. The diagrammatic fenestration of 20 West 40th Street is too much of a stark contrast to be considered harmonious.

LPC determination: Approved


Item 19
153901- Block 1287, lot 14-
488 Madison Avenue – Individual Landmark
A Streamline Moderne style office building designed by Emery Roth & Sons and built in 1948-50. Application is to alter the ground floor, install signage and modify the marquee.

Item 19-1


Item 19-2

HDC appreciates that this proposal strives toward mid-century elegance, but finds that some of its components do not quite achieve this effect. HDC finds the use of stainless steel for the proposed marquee to be appropriate, but asks that the proportions of the proposed sign band be reworked, as the proposed appears much wider than the original. HDC also requests the use of standing numerals and lettering to match the original signage. Finally, HDC questions the necessity of the rather bulky, matte-painted vertical metal fins in the proposed storefront frame, and asks that these be made less prominent.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications


Item 21
153989- Block 1264, lot 5-
1230 Avenue of the Americas, aka 53-75 W 48th – Individual Landmark
An office tower designed by the Associated Architects and built in 1939 with an addition designed by Wallace Harrison and Max Abramowitz and built 1954-55, all part of an Art Deco style office, commercial and entertainmnet complex. Application is to modify and replace storefront infill.

Item 21-5

Overall, HDC finds this proposed storefront to be appropriate to the building. However, since work is being done to this storefront, we ask that it be restorative in nature and that the original division in the storefront bronze mullions be returned. This would enhance the appearance of this individual landmark and would further the elegant, Jazz Age aesthetic that we could only imagine would appeal to Christies’ clientele.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications


Item 22
153248- Block 1334, lot 22-
25 Tudor City Place – Tudor City Historic District
A Collegiate Gothic style apartment hotel designed by Fred F. French and built in 1926-1928. Application is to establish a master plan governing the future replacement windows.

Item 22-2

HDC finds that the replacement of steel windows with aluminum will have a strong impact on the appearance of the building, given that the proposed windows will be much more bulky. While double-glazed windows are thicker than the building’s existing single-glazed windows, the Commission has reviewed proposals for steel frame, double-glazed windows that are much thinner than the ones proposed here. Tudor City depends on the look of its steel windows, and HDC asks that the applicant work with staff to investigate further options to preserve this significant feature.

LPC determination: Approved

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Posted by on Monday, March 17, 2014 · 3 Comments 

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.




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

HDC: Proposed Legislation Would Undermine the Landmarks Preservation Commission: City Land, October 5, 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

Category: 19th Annual Preservation Conference: Preservation Now!, Architect Panel, conference, Event, News, Newsfeed, Program & Events · Tags:

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