Come On A Walking Tour With HDC!

E-BULLETIN OF THE HISTORIC DISTRICTS COUNCIL

September 2014, Volume 11, Number 3

In This Issue:

  • Secret Lives Tour: The Loew’s Valencia- October 4
  • Six to Celebrate Tour- Bronx and Harlem Carnegie Libraries- October 18

Secret Lives Tour: Loew’s Valencia Theatre

Saturday, October 4, 2014 

11:30 AM

Loews-Valencia-Jamaica-Queens-Movie-Theater-Untapped-Cities-After-the-Final-Curtain

Following last year’s successful tour of the Loew’s United Palace Theatre on 175th Street, we are venturing into the grand opulence of another historic movie house, this time in Jamaica, Queens. The Loew’s Valencia opened in 1929 and was the first of the Loew’s “Wonder Theatres,” five buildings lavishly designed to highlight the preeminence of the Loew’s company in and around New York City. (The Kings Theatre, one of the five, is in the midst of a massive restoration and will reopen as a theatre in 2015.) Designed in Spanish Colonial and pre-Columbian styles with spectacular terra cotta facade details, the theatre was once the most successful theatre in Queens. Closed as a movie house in 1977, Tabernacle of Prayer for All has called this building home for more than 30 years.

$30 for Friends of HDC, $40 for general public

For more information and to register click here 

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A Tale of Three Carnegies:

A Tour of Historic Libraries in Harlem and the South Bronx

 

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

 2:00 PM (WALKING TOUR)

Principal façade of the Mott Haven Branch Library, 2010, courtesy of HDC

Principal façade of the Mott Haven Branch Library, 2010, courtesy of HDC 

Following the July tour of Carnegie libraries in Chinatown, John Bacon, HDC board member and Director of Planned Giving at The New York Public Library, will return to lead another tour of Carnegie libraries in Harlem and Mott Haven. In Harlem, we will visit the 115th Street and Harlem Libraries, and view the impressive Mount Morris Historic District in between. Bring your Metrocard, as we will then hop on the subway to the South Bronx to visit the beautiful Mott Haven Library and take in its notable children’s floor.

$5 for Friends of HDC, seniors and students; $10 General Admission

For more information and to register click here

 

Six to Celebrate Feature: Madison Square North

 E-BULLETIN OF THE HISTORIC DISTRICTS COUNCIL

September 2014, Volume 11, Number 4

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MADISON SQUARE NORTH, MANHATTAN 

   The area immediately north of Madison Square Park has experienced many waves of development since the park opened in 1847. This layered history is still clearly seen when surveying the area’s historic architecture, which mostly dates to between 1850 and 1930. Over the course of those 80 years, the area morphed from a fashionable residential district to an entertainment center with hotels, clubs and large apartment towers, to a commercial hub with office and loft buildings. Examples of each phase exist in the area today, with small rowhouses and highrises often sitting side-by-side.

In 2001, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Madison Square North Historic District, 96 buildings from roughly 25th to 29th Streets between Sixth and Madison Avenues. While this designation was very welcome, it did not encompass several key areas of existing historic buildings in the neighborhood, including the surviving buildings of Tin Pan Alley on West 28th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue, where the American popular music publishing industry was headquartered between roughly 1890 and 1910. Recently, several important and beautiful historic buildings such as the Bancroft Building on West 29th Street were demolished and there’s much more unfortunately to come.

Community members and preservationists  including the 29th Street Neighborhood Association are currently advocating for an extension to the district, to encompass roughly 150 buildings from 23rd to 34th Streets and Sixth to Park Avenues. Over the past year HDC has been working closely with the members of the community and neighborhood stakeholders to advocate for the district extension. You can show your support for the designation by signing a petition to the Landmarks Preservation Commission by clicking here, or writing a letter to Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan. Please address the letter to Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan Landmarks Preservation Commission 1 Centre Street, 9th floor New York, NY 10007 but mail the letter to 29th Street Neighborhood Association 115 East 34th Street, #366 New York, NY 10156. The 29th Street Neighborhood Association wishes to have copies of each letter, which will then be sent to Chair Srinivasan. 

For more information about Madison Square North Click Here

Madison Square North- 1170 Broadway-1

If you would like to nominate a neighborhood as a 2015 Six to Celebrate neighborhood contact Barbara Zay bzay@hdc.org 

Category: Blog, E-bulletin, Six To Celebrate 2014 · Tags:

Preservation School

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Head back to school with HDC

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

 

 

Schedule of Classes

northside_president7 MondaySeptember 8, 2014

6:00 PM

Preservation 101 Join Tara Kelly, Executive Director of Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, for this introductory course on preservation — what is it, what tools are needed, and how you can get involved.

SOLD OUT

brooklyn-suburbs-nypl WednesdayOctober 15, 2014

6:00 PM

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

SOLD OUT

View Gregory Dietrich’s presentation

by clicking here 

realestate120709_rowhouse_560 MondayNovember 10, 2014

6:00 PM

NYC Architectural Styles This program will focus on common architectural styles found in New York City’s historic built environment. [Speaker] will provide an overview of the city’s building types and distinguishing features.

SOLD OUT

incarnation-landmark-building-plaque MondayDecember 8, 2014

6:00 PM

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

SOLD OUT

zh_height_factor MondayFebruary 9, 2015

6:00 PM

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

SOLD OUT

SunsetPark-8 MondayMarch 9, 2015

6:00 PM

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

SOLD OUT

DKoepp_NYC_TH MondayApril 13, 2015

6:00 PM

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

SOLD OUT

4416779971_5ac0d6a112_z MondayMay 11, 2015

6:00 PM

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

SOLD OUT

 

Classes will take place at:

Neighborhood Preservation Center

232 East 11 Street

New York, NY 10003

6:00PM

Light refreshments to be served

Classes:

$10 each or $60 for all 8

Scholarships available

please contact Barbara Zay at bzay@hdc.org


Preservation School



Category: Featured · Tags:

HDC@LPC – September 23, 2014

Posted by on Monday, September 22, 2014 · Leave a Comment 

Item 1

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Queens

158355- Block 149, lot 150-

39-38 47th Street – Sunnyside Gardens Historic District

A brick rowhouse with Colonial Revival style details, designed by Clarence Stein, Henry Wright, and Frederick Ackerman and built in 1925. Application is to alter the front porch, stoop, and sidewalk, install a new door at the areaway, and construct a rear yard addition.

39-38 47th Street-7

In addition to being a character-defining feature of Sunnyside Gardens, the central courtyards here are some of the most intact in the city. For this reason, HDC opposes extensions into the rear yard. On the front of the house, HDC applauds the effort to reference the original design and materials of the front porch. However, since there is a great deal of documentation on the original design of these porches, as well as examples within the district of other porches that have been sensitively renovated, HDC encourages the applicant to take great care to renovate the front porch in an historically accurate manner.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Item 5

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Brooklyn

154553- Block 261, lot 9-

295-299 Hicks Street – Brooklyn Heights Historic District

Three vacant lots. Application is to construct three new buildings.

295-299 Hicks Street-5

295-299 Hicks Street-3

HDC applauds the proposal for three individual houses on these lots, as well as the overall effort at contextual new construction within the Brooklyn Heights Historic District. However, HDC questions several components of the design. Concerning materials on the front façades, our committee noted that mud brick like that proposed here is not evident on townhouses in this historically high style district. The use of cast stone as a replacement for limestone and brownstone is a fine option, but given that limestone lintels are also not evident on this block, HDC would suggest that the pigment be reconsidered.

While these houses are identical, our committee appreciated the use of bay windows and stoops on the front façades to show that these are three individual houses. However, the flatness of the rear façades does not help to achieve this same effect. The mass of metal and glass all the way across the bottom floors has the effect of visually connecting the three houses in the rear. Perhaps bringing the masonry to the ground would soften the stark transition from masonry to glass, as well as avoid any misreading of these houses as one large mansion.

LPC determination: No Action

 

Item 6

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Brooklyn

159747- Block 195, lot 28-

182 Dean Street – Boerum Hill Historic District

A modified Italianate style rowhouse built in 1859-60. Application is to construct a rooftop addition.

182 Dean Street-3

While the bulk of the rooftop addition is not visible from the street, it would be very visible from the interior of a block that has not suffered other such incursions. HDC asks that in addition to taking a more modest approach, the applicants also reconsider the proposed materials. The use of EIFS with a stucco finish only exacerbates a heavy-handed intervention.

LPC determination: No Action

 

Item 7

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Brooklyn

158733- Block 326, lot 19-

25 Tompkins Place – Cobble Hill Historic District

A Greek Revival style rowhouse built in the 1840s. Application is to alter front and rear facades, construct rooftop and rear yard additions and excavate the rear yard.

25 Tompkins Place-7

HDC found the rooftop addition to be appropriately scaled, but the added bulk of the rooftop equipment to be too visible. Our committee asks that the equipment be repositioned so that it is on the same level as the addition, rather than on top of it. We found the rear to be appropriate, but would ask the Commission to advise a higher solid to void ratio on the lower floors.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications

 

Item 8

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Manhattan

160797- Block 224, lot 32-

456 Greenwich Street – TriBeCa North Historic District

A building built in 1942, and enlarged in 1950. Application is to redesign the building facade, and construct an elevator bulkhead, a garden wall, and canopy.

456 Greenwich Street-1
HDC finds the simple infill of the openings to be an appropriate change, but feels that the bright white paint would be a mistake, as it is not contextual to the district. Cleaning the brick and leaving it unpainted would celebrate the industrial character of both the building and the surrounding area.

LPC determination: No Action

 

Item 9

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Manhattan

157022- Block 516, lot 26-

150 Thompson Street – SoHo-Cast Iron Extension Historic District

A neo-Grec style store building, designed by D & J Jardine, and built in 1880-81. Application is to replace ground floor infill and install a marquee.

150 Thompson Street-3

HDC is happy to see the restoration and extension of the cast iron column included in this proposal, and commends the applicant on this aspect of the project. We would ask, though, that the flush metal panels be reconsidered, as they would create the effect of a walled-in storefront that is very uninviting from the street. HDC would suggest the use of alternative materials, such as frosted glass, black glass, operable shutters or opaque fill windows, in order to achieve privacy and darkness in the interior.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications

 

Item 10

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Manhattan

160759- Block 744, lot 20-

333 West 20th Street – Chelsea Historic District

A rowhouse built in 1855, and altered in 1893. Application is to replace doors.

333 West 20th Street-2

The proposed solid doors with a horizontal glass transom are foreign to the composition of this rowhouse. HDC would suggest that the applicant consider security glazing, such as riot glass, if safety is the issue here, or the use of frosted glass if privacy is the end goal.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Item 12

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Manhattan

158949- Block 819, lot 14-

38-42 West 18th Street – Ladies’ Mile Historic District

A building originally built in 1858 and redesigned in 1898 in a commercial style by John R. Hutchinson; an early 20th century commercial style store and loft building designed by George A. Crawley and built in 190708; and a vacant lot. Application is to construct a new building; and to restore the facades and replace windows and storefront infill at 40 and 42 West 18th Street.

 

Item 13

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Manhattan

158948- Block 819, lot 14-

38-42 West 18th Street – Ladies’ Mile Historic District

A building originally built in 1858 and redesigned in 1898 in a commercial style by John R. Hutchinson; an early 20th century commercial style store and loft building designed by George A. Crawley and built in 1907-08; and a vacant lot. Application is to request that the Landmarks Preservation Commission issue a report to the City Planning Commission relating to an application for Special Permit pursuant to Section 74-711 of the Zoning Resolution for a Modification of Use.

38-42 West 18th Street aka 41-45 West 17th Street-4

38-42 West 18th Street aka 41-45 West 17th Street-2

HDC celebrates the restoration of 45 West 17th Street and 40 and 42 West 18th Street, three fine, low-rise commercial structures that characterize the Ladies’ Mile Historic District.  Our committee generally found the new building’s West 18th Street façade to be an honest, contemporary design for the district, but questioned the abrupt glass base. We would suggest that some further study be undertaken to extend the rhythm of the upper stories down to the base.

The West 17th Street façade raised much bigger concerns for our committee. The concept of a stainless steel mesh screen that simulates the intricacy of masonry is an interesting gesture toward the historic district’s architectural vocabulary, but we worry that such a literal replication would end up appearing too contrived. Referencing the rhythms employed on historic structures found in the area would be a good way to fit into the district, but this screen reminds one of a theater set putting on a performance of historical accuracy – or perhaps the increasingly popular construction netting covering a building’s façades that is printed with a representation of said façades in order to be more pleasing to the passerby. In Beaux-Arts buildings, as this one seems to be referencing, the use of varied depths and materials underscored the importance of solids to voids in creating a rich overall composition. On this building, the stainless steel mesh is meant to act as a solid, yet the mesh’s transparency is its ultimate trickery, leaving the viewer hanging. While the screen seems to step forward somewhat from the glass and metal frame, the overall effect is a fairly uniform and flat surface rather than one of interesting depths and massing. The building, thus, lies somewhere between a glass curtain wall skyscraper and a Beaux-Arts style commercial building, yet can be called neither.

LPC determination: No Action

 

Item 16

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Manhattan

156310- Block 1387, lot 45-

48 East 73rd Street – Upper East Side Historic District

A rowhouse originally built in 1885-86, altered in the neo-Federal style by S. Edson Gage in 1916, and again in 1979. Application is to alter the primary facade, demolish a rear addition, construct a new rear facade, construct rooftop additions, and excavate the cellar and rear yard.

48 East 73rd Street-3

48 East 73rd Street-2

HDC is glad to see that elements of the front façade of this rowhouse will be restored. As described in the applicant’s drawing of the streetscape in its 2013 condition, the clerestory and sunroom, added in 1979, included “incongruous” window treatments. In the proposed top story, our committee felt that the sliding doors do not improve the sensitivity of the top story to the overall style of this 1916 façade. On the rooftop, we would ask that the staircase bulkhead be lowered to decrease its visibility. The rear façade represents a dramatic intervention that our committee felt would be more appropriate for a beach house than for a townhouse. The use of excessive glazing and folding screens would be alien to its context.

LPC determination: No Action

 

Item 18

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Manhattan

153181- Block 1907, lot 32-

249 Lenox Avenue – Mount Morris Park Historic District

A rowhouse designed by Charles H. Beer and built in 1885-1886. Application is to replace storefront infill and install signage.

249 Lenox Avenue-3

Our committee had difficulty deciphering the drawings for this proposal. Specifically, we had trouble figuring out whether or not the masonry pier between the proposed doors would be removed. In the case of its removal, the committee would like to ask for strong scrutiny from the Commission, as such an intervention would be aesthetically jarring and would require the guidance of a structural engineer.

LPC determination: Approved

 

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

Oh The Many Places You Will Go, With HDC

Posted by on Monday, September 8, 2014 · Leave a Comment 

E-BULLETIN OF THE HISTORIC DISTRICTS COUNCIL
September 2014, Volume 11, Number 2

atlantic ave. logo

 Historic Tour of 

Atlantic Avenue!

Atlantic Ave-12.19.13 010

Atlantic Avenue between Henry and Court Streets

Saturday, September 13

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

The Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District invites you to join a tour of Atlantic Avenue, one of Brooklyn’s most dynamic commercial thoroughfares for over one hundred years. This diverse retail and dining destination connects the historic neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill. Tour guide and Brooklyn native Joe Svehlak will guide us from 4th Avenue to Hicks Street, discussing Atlantic Avenue’s architecture, social and commercial history, as well as areas that have been more recently redeveloped. The variety of commercial, religious, civic, and residential architecture combining the new with the old are a testament to the vitality of Atlantic Avenue. In addition to the many shops and restaurants on our walk, we will view a former brewery, several religious sites, and, near the entrance to Brooklyn Bridge Park, a new mural depicting the avenue’s history and significance.

Suggested donation: $10

To reserve your spot, please visit:

http://atlanticavebid.ticketleap.com/atlantic-avenue-historic-tour-july-12/

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A Tale of Three Carnegies:

A Tour of Historic Libraries in Harlem and the South Bronx

Principal façade of the Mott Haven Branch Library, 2010, courtesy of HDC

Principal façade of the Mott Haven Branch Library, 2010, courtesy of HDC

Saturday, October 18, 2:00 PM (WALKING TOUR)

Following the July tour of Carnegie libraries in Chinatown, John Bacon, HDC board member and Director of Planned Giving at The New York Public Library, will return to lead another tour of Carnegie libraries in Harlem and Mott Haven. In Harlem, we will visit the 115th Street and Harlem Libraries, and view the impressive Mount Morris Historic District in between. Bring your Metrocard, as we will then hop on the subway to the South Bronx to visit the beautiful Mott Haven Library and take in its notable children’s floor.

$5 for Friends of HDC, seniors and students; $10 General Admission

For more information and to register click here

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 It’s What is on the Inside that Counts:

EverGreene Architectural Arts Studio Tour and Presentation

Eldridge Street Synagogue

Eldridge Street Synagogue

 

Wednesday, September 17

3:45 PM- Check-in

 4:00-6:00 PM-Studio Tour and Program

at

EverGreene Architectural Arts

450 West 31st Street, 7th Floor

Fee:

Public-$60

Friends of HDC/VSA members-$50

2 AIA Approved LU/HSW Credits/2 NY State Licensing Credits

For more information or to RSVP click here 

or

contact bharmon@hdc.org

This program is co-sponsored by

VS & AIA

Category: Blog, E-bulletin · Tags:

HDC@LPC – September 9, 2014

Posted by on Monday, September 8, 2014 · Leave a Comment 

 

Item 1

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Queens

155446- Block 1289, lot 15-

37-18 79th Street – Jackson Heights Historic District

An Anglo-American Garden Home style attached house designed by Benjamin Dreisler and built in 1926-27. Application is to modify a window opening.

Item 2-1

Item 2-2

While this window modification may seem relatively minor, these blocks within the Jackson Heights Historic District derive much of their charm and character from these rhythmic openings. Alterations such as this only chip away at this architectural unity.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications

 

Item 2

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Queens

160105- Block 8018, lot 15-

24 Knollwood Avenue – Douglaston Historic District

An Arts and Crafts style house designed by George Keister and built in 1907. Application is to modify fenestration, remove an entrance hood, install mechanical equipment and relocate a hatch.\

Item 4-1

With full disclosure that the applicant, Kevin Wolfe, is a member of HDC’s Board of Advisers, our committee commends this project for its sensitivity to the property and for the thoughtful approach taken in respecting the Douglaston vernacular.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Item 3

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Queens

157412- Block 8020, lot 6-

10 Richmond Road – Douglaston Historic District

A Colonial Revival style house built in 1966. Application is to legalize repaving the driveway, sidewalk, and gutter, enlarging and repaving the front walkway, rebuilding the entrance steps, and rebuilding the driveway retaining wall without permits.

Edited_Item 3_10 Richmond Rd

Landscaping, such as the driveway, retaining wall, entrance walkway and steps are specifically called out as notable features in the designation report for this property. In the Douglaston Historic District, where freestanding houses dominate, these elements are especially prominent. HDC laments the destruction of these features and the precedent that this type of work may set, and is confused that the DOT allowed this work to be completed without LPC permits.

Concerning the removal of historic cobblestone street gutters, HDC would like to mention that just this past May, the Commission denied an application at 105 Grosvenor Street to remove street gutters. These gutters once ran east to west along all the streets in Douglas Manor to facilitate water run-off.  The few remaining ones still serve their intended function, preventing large puddles and standing water from accumulating in the neighborhood. At 10 Richmond Road, the gutter has been repaved in Belgian block, but raised flush with the pavement. At the very least, HDC asks that a more appropriate treatment of the gutter be constructed here.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications

 

Item 5

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Brooklyn

156701- Block 169, lot 9-

110 Schermerhorn Street – Individual Landmark

A meeting house with Greek Revival and Italianate style elements, attributed to Charles T. Bunting, and built in 1857. Application is to replace windows.

Item 11-7
One of the great features of historic public buildings like this one is the openness achieved by their operational double hung windows. While the installation of triple-glazed windows would not change the building’s exterior appearance, the openings would be restricted and ventilation drastically reduced. It seems a shame to lose the functional aspect of these windows.

LPC determination: No Action

 

Item 9

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Manhattan

156587- Block 484, lot 31-

448 Broome Street – SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District

A store and loft building with French Renaissance style details designed by Vaux & Withers Co. and built in 1871-72. Application is to alter storefront infill installed without Landmarks Preservation Commission permit(s).

Item 16-3
The stark, all-glass doors installed on this whimsical, cast-iron creation by Calvert Vaux are regrettable. The changes proposed here do not worsen the intervention, but HDC would prefer that changes to the storefront honor the building’s original design, rather than reinforce subsequent alterations.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Item 10

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Manhattan

158114- Block 615, lot 7-

313 West 4th Street – Greenwich Village Historic District

A Greek Revival style rowhouse built in 1836. Application is to construct rooftop and rear yard additions, alter the front façade, and replace windows.

Item 18-8
HDC generally finds the proposed changes to the front façade to be appropriate, especially the wood paneling at the top story. However, the rear represents too much of an intervention on this intact rowhouse, with an overwhelming amount of glazing and additional bulk.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Item 13

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Manhattan

158924- Block 544, lot 38-

38-50 Cooper Square – NoHo Historic District

An office, warehouse and factory building, originally built as a row of houses in the mid-19th century, combined and altered by Fritz Nathan in 1960. Application is to construct a gymnasium and install a railing and mechanical equipment on the roof.

Item 21-4

HDC applauds the applicant on their efforts to minimally transform and adaptively reuse this structure. The proposal represents a clever solution to a school expansion, while also being sensitive to neighboring buildings.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Item 14

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Manhattan

155903- Block 446, lot 3-

76 Second Avenue – East Village/Lower East Side Historic District

A building designed by Paul Fein and built in 1928, and altered in the late 20th century. Application is to alter the façade, replace windows, install signage and a rooftop screen.

Item 22-2
HDC is glad to see that this proposal would bring the structure a bit closer to its original configuration, and appreciates the addition of brickwork string courses to add architectural detail and interest. HDC asks, though, that further consideration be given to follow historic photos and other documentation to get the proportions and window openings just right. While such a welcome renovation project is undertaken, it would be a shame to miss the opportunity for accuracy. HDC also asks that the perforated metal screen be reconsidered, as there is no historic precedent for it.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Item 15

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS

BOROUGH OF Manhattan

158905- Block 1129, lot 29-

170 Central Park West – Individual Landmark

A Roman Eclectic style museum and library, designed by York and Sawyer and built in 1903-1908, with wings added in 1937-1938 by Walker and Gillette. Application is to install signage.

Item 23-3
While our committee does not take issue with the design of the proposed sign, HDC generally laments the continuous use of signage labeled “temporary” on New York City’s most treasured landmarks. These large-format posters have the effect of turning an architectural treasure, such as the New York Historical Society, described in the building’s designation report as “austerely classical in feeling, and displaying great dignity in its composition,” into a glorified billboard, covering the fine architectural details, proportions and symmetry that earned the building’s designation as an Individual Landmark.

LPC determination: Approved

 

 

Category: HDC@LPC · Tags: , , , , ,

Leo J. Blackman Appointed Historic Districts Council’s President

Posted by on Thursday, September 4, 2014 · Leave a Comment 

LeoJBlackman 

 The Historic Districts Council, the advocate for New York City’s historic neighborhoods, is pleased to announce the election of Leo J. Blackman as the new board president. Mr. Blackman has a Masters in Architecture from Columbia University with an emphasis on Historic Preservation and has over twenty-five years of experience in architectural design and construction in and around New York City. Mr. Blackman established the Leo J. Blackman Architects in 2001 and its work focuses on preservation sensitive design, which strives to maintain and complement the historic feel of the neighborhood.

Mr. Blackman has served on the board of HDC since 2005 and was previously president from 2009-2011. Prior to joining the board, he was honored with a HDC Grassroots Preservation Award for his work on the Village Community School located at 272 W. 10th Street in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. This is only one of the many awards Leo J. Blackman Architects have received for their sensitive work with historic buildings.  Along with his involvement with HDC, Mr. Blackman has also served on the Architecture Committee for the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation since 2005, is a board member of the Drive to Protect the Ladies’ Mile District and is Chairman of the Zoning Board of Review in Amenia, New York (located in Duchess County, New York).

Mr. Blackman’s predecessor was Françoise Bollack, another noted New York City architect and Ms. Bollack and Mr. Blackman are only two of several architects on HDC’s board (many of whom, like Mr. Blackman, are also active in their local neighborhoods). HDC happily welcomes Mr. Blackman back as president, we know we are in capable hands!

Category: Blog · Tags: ,

“A Proven Success: How the New York City Landmarks Law and Process Benefit the City”

Posted by on Thursday, September 4, 2014 · Leave a Comment 

Report Assesses Value of Landmark Preservation 50 Years After Passage of New York City Landmarks Law

Rebuts Claims From Real Estate Board of New York as Self-Serving

a proven success

720 Madison Avenue (left)
New construction that replaced a vacant lot,
Upper East Side Historic District.
Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLP, 1996
Gregory Dietrich, photographer, 3/9/14

A Proven Success – CECPP Report

 

Opening Letter from HDC President Leo Blackman

 

A new report shows how landmark designation by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission positively affects such vital civic concerns as community stabilization, affordable housing, sustainability, job creation and tourism. The study, prepared by the Citizens Emergency Committee to Preserve Preservation and released by the Historic Districts Council, details how the 1965 New York City Landmarks Law establishing the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission has helped improve the city over nearly fifty years.  Entitled “A Proven Success: How the New York City Landmarks Law and Process Benefit the City” (hdc.org/ A-Proven-Success-CECPP-Report.pdf) responds to an anti-landmarking campaign  mounted by the Real Estate Board of New York.

“The success of New York City’s Landmarks Law and the Landmarks Preservation Commission has been validated by the extensive benefits accruing to New York City, its residents and visitors,” said Leo Blackman, president of the Historic Districts Council, the citywide advocate for New York’s historic neighborhoods.  “Preservation has stimulated a series of neighborhood revitalizations that have boosted multiple sectors of the economy, while also ensuring that the city is a better place to live and work. Beyond economics, New York City’s preservation law and agency have yielded social benefits ranging from preserving neighborhoods to promoting sustainability,” said Blackman.

The study analyzes the Landmarks Law and its economic, social, and environmental impact on the city. It specifically responds to allegations by the Real Estate Board of New York about the regulation of historic properties in New York City.  ”REBNY has opposed the Landmarks Law since Mayor Wagner signed the legislation in 1965, and they have been wrong about it ever since. They were wrong about designating the Broadway theatres, wrong about Ladies Mile, and now they are wrong about the supposed evils of preservation. This report sets the record straight,” said Dr. Jeffrey Kroessler, Chair of the Citizens Emergency Committee.

Seeking to exploit the de Blasio’s administration’s emphasis on affordable housing, REBNY has most recently blamed historic district designations for the lack of it. The report counters that “because the Landmarks Preservation Commission does not regulate use, historic district designation does not prevent the development of new and/or affordable housing or impede the redevelopment of a designated property into affordable housing units….[Moreover]  New York City’s affordable housing crisis is more pronounced in its outer boroughts, where there has been minimal designation.”  Within Manhattan, the report notes, “there is no direct correlation between affordability, availability, and historic districts within [its] exorbitant real estate market” and “there are comparable sales prices and availability in both designated and non-designated neighborhoods.”

The report concludes that “REBNY’s record of opposition to landmarks is matched by its even longer history of opposition to affordable housing by advocating for higher rents on rent-regulated apartments, de-regulation, and vacancy decontrol,” and to claim that historic districts are to blame for “the lack of affordable housing in Manhattan … trivializes a very complex and serious issue.”

The 72-page report also addresses and clarifies issues such as gentrification, sustainability, and job creation, noting especially the jobs stimulated by historic preservation among small construction, restoration and architectural businesses.  “There is great deal of misinformation and disinformation being circulated about the process and impact of historic preservation, and this report illustrates through extensive research that landmarks law has generated far-reaching economic, social, and environmental benefits,” says Simeon Bankoff, Executive Director of the Historic Districts Council.

There are property owners and real estate developers who understand the financial returns that follow investments in designated properties.  Highly successful districts like Ladies’ Mile and SoHo are picked out as proof that designation is not a barrier to economic development but instead an inducement for all the company and store owners who are drawn to these commercial areas for the same reasons residents, workers and shoppers are, because of their aesthetics, stability and history.

The report concludes that “New York City’s Landmarks Law has demonstrated that historic preservation not only plays a vital role as a municipal planning tool, but also yields significant benefits to its citizenry and to the world-at-large. It is a proven success.”

Category: Affordable Housing, Blog, Featured, Report, Special Blog · Tags: , , ,

A Fall Full of Fun With HDC

Posted by on Friday, August 29, 2014 · Leave a Comment 

 E-BULLETIN OF THE HISTORIC DISTRICTS COUNCIL

August 2014, Volume 11, Number 4

In This Issue:

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AFFORDABLE HOUSING / HISTORIC PRESERVATION:
A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION

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The affordable housing crisis in New York has impacted the entire city.

As activists concerned with maintaining and nourishing NYC’s diverse neighborhoods, we ask you to join us in taking back this important public conversation about affordable housing and neighborhood preservation from the real estate lobbyists

Tuesday, September 16th
6:00PM
Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall, 2nd Floor
55 West 13th Street, Room I202
New York, NY 10011

To RSVP, click HERE

For questions, contact bharmon@hdc.org

Speakers:

Hon. Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President

Harvey Epstein, Project Director of the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center and NYC Rent Guidelines Board Member

Nadine Maleh, Director of the Inspiring Places program at Community Solutions

Rachel Meltzer, Assistant Professor of Urban Policy at The New School

Moderated by:

Andrew Berman, Executive Director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

To View all the Community Co-Sponsors Click Here 

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It’s What is on the Inside that Counts: 

EverGreene Architectural Arts Studio Tour and Presentation

Eldridge Street Synagogue

Eldridge Street Synagogue

This program will visit the working studio of one of the most well-regarded architectural arts firms in North America. Attendees will be able to view the hands-on work being undertaken by EverGreene artisans to restore and, at times, remake crucial interior features. The program will also include a presentation by EverGreene staff to discuss the process of architectural arts projects, including working with architects and clients, developing historic color palettes, combining historic and modern materials, and options regarding replacement materials.

Wednesday, September 17th

3:45 PM- Check-in

 4:00-6:00 PM-Studio Tour and Program

at

EverGreene Architectural Arts

450 West 31st Street, 7th Floor

Fee:

Public-$60

Friends of HDC/VSA members-$50

For More Information and to Register Click Here 

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Six to Celebrate Tour:

Park Avenue 

(7) Postum Building, 250 Park Avenue Cross & Cross, 1923 Built FAR: 17.81  Proposed 21.6

Monday, October 6, 6:00PM (Walking Tour)

The June 17 Six to Celebrate tour of the newly designated Park Avenue Historic District quickly sold out and was extremely well received. As such, Urban Historian Justin Ferate will conduct a second tour – beginning at Park Avenue at 91st Street and traveling south along the avenue.  The upper segment of the new district boasts of elegant apartment houses by such impressive architects as J.E.R. Carpenter, George & Edward Blum, Mott B. Schmidt, Emery Roth, Mills & Bottomley, and others. In addition, we’ll view religious structures by some of America’s noteworthy ecclesiastical design firms:  Patrick C. Keely, Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson, and Schickel & Ditmars.
Join us on this walking tour of New York City’s premier historic boulevard. Learn more about the histories of these remarkable architectural treasures and the effort to protect Park Avenue’s historical and architectural significance for future generations.

To Register For The Tour Click Here 

To View the Previous Six to Celebrate Walking Tour Brochures Click Here 

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Additional STC Tours 

Staten Island’s Historic Cemeteries-September 27

Historic Libraries in Harlem and the South Bronx- October 18

All tours are $5 friends, students and seniors/ $10 for general public

Click here to purchase tickets

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

Preservation Education

Posted by on Friday, August 15, 2014 · Leave a Comment 

E-BULLETIN OF THE HISTORIC DISTRICTS COUNCIL

August 2014, Volume 11, Number 3

It’s What is on the Inside that Counts:

EverGreene Architectural Arts Studio Tour and Presentation

Eldridge Street Synagogue

Eldridge Street Synagogue

While building exteriors are often the most lauded architectural features and contribute to the sense of urbanism that defines New York City, the interior of these historic buildings-the murals, decorative paint, ornamental plaster, gilding and other unique specialty finishes- make them even more spectacular and unique. These decorative arts, often the most significant and character-defining part of a historic building, grace the interiors of worship spaces, schools, museums, theaters, commercial, residential and government buildings, many dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Continuing the Historic Districts Council’s investigation of historic materials, this program will look at the extensive work, creativity and knowledge of materials that is required to preserve these decorative interiors. Join HDC for a studio tour and presentation by EverGreene Architectural Arts.

The program will visit the working studio of one of the most well-regarded architectural arts firms in North America. Attendees will be able to view the hands-on work being undertaken by EverGreene artisans to restore and, at times, remake crucial interior features. The program will also include a presentation by EverGreene staff to discuss the process of architectural arts projects, including working with architects and clients, developing historic color palettes, combining historic and modern materials, and options regarding replacement materials.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

3:45 PM- Check-in

 4:00-6:00 PM-Studio Tour and Program

at

EverGreene Architectural Arts

 450 West 31st Street, 7th Floor

Fee:

Public-$60

Friends of HDC/VSNY members-$50

 To Learn more or to register click here 

2 AIA Approved LU/HSW Credits/2 NY State Licensing Credits

For more information or to RSVP please contact bharmon@hdc.org or visit here

This program is being co-sponsored by

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Preservation School

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

Course List:

~Monday, September 8, 2014- Preservation 101

~Wednesday, October 15, 2014-Historic Building Research

~Monday, November 10, 2014-NYC Architectural Styles

~Monday, December 8, 2014-NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission and State/National Register of Historic Places Designation

~Monday, February 9, 2015-Zoning 101

~Monday, March 9, 2015-Architectural Photography

~Monday, April 13, 2015- Reading Architectural Drawings

~Monday, May 11, 2015- Building Materials

All classes are at 6 PM at the

Neighborhood Preservation Center 232 East 11th Street 10003

For full class description and to register click here 

 

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

Thanks for Visiting

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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Historic District Council 232 East 11th Street New York NY 10003 Tel: 212-614-9107 Fax: 212-614-9127 hdc@hdc.org

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