HDC@LPC – Testimony for LPC Hearing on September 5, 2017

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

Item 1

188 Prospect Park West – Park Slope Extension Historic District

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #19-13969

A neo-Renaissance style movie theater designed by Harrison G. Wiseman and Magnuson & Kleinert Associates and built c. 1928. Application is to construct a bulkhead.

HDC campaigned fiercely to include this site in the first Park Slope Historic District Extension, being fully aware that it was very desirable for development and wanting the Landmarks Commission to have regulatory power over the inevitable alterations which would be proposed. The previous proposal was met with great consternation from the neighborhood and our very strong disapproval as it stripped the Pavilion Theater of its defining details and dwarfed it with monstrous accretions on all sides. We were very disappointed when the LPC approved those plans, regardless, and we dreaded that plan being built and forever transforming that very prominent public crossroads in an inappropriate and ungainly way. Therefore, HDC is relieved to see this sensible proposal. We are thrilled by the sensitivity and light touch of the current plans and frankly, although it is beyond the LPC’s powers or bailiwick, delighted that this theater will continue to be used as a theater and not merely more housing.

LPC determination: Approved


Item 7

74 East 4th Street – East Village/Lower East Side Historic District

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #198690

A professional association hall designed by August H. Blankenstein and built in 1873, altered in the German Renaissance Revival and neo-Grec styles by Frederick William Kurtzer & Richard O.L. Rohl in 1892. Application is to construct rooftop additions, and install storefront infill.

HDC is pleased to see a storefront returned to this building based on historical evidence. On such a beloved East Village institution, our committee appreciates what seems to be a very sensitive restoration of the façade with historic cast-iron elements.

LPC determination: Approved


Item 8

218 East 18th Street – Stuyvesant Square Historic District

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #19-13317

An Italianate style rowhouse built in 1856-57. Application is to modify the areaway and install a barrier-free access chair lift.

Our committee appreciates this proposal, which we find to be clearly presented, well-thought-out, and well-detailed. This is a good example for incorporating ADA access into historic rowhouses in an unobtrusive way.

LPC determination: Approved

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

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