Statement on the Riverside-West End Historic District Extension I

Statement of the Historic Districts Council

Designation Hearing

March 22, 2011

Item 7

BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN, LP 2463

PROPOSED RIVERSIDE DRIVE-WEST END HISTORIC DISTRICT EXTENSION 1

The Historic Districts Council is the advocate for New York City’s designated historic districts and neighborhoods meriting preservation.

The Historic Districts Council been impressed by LPC’s swift and generous response to neighborhood advocates’ request to landmark West End, and we are pleased to support the designation of the proposed Riverside Drive-West End Historic District Extension 1.

When walking through the Upper West Side, it is sometimes difficult to tell what is landmarked and what is not.  The buildings within the proposed district share not only the same history as nearby landmarked buildings but also many of the same architects and designs.  From the late 19th century revival-style rowhouses by the likes of Clarence True and C.P.H. Gilbert, to the elegant apartment buildings that sprung up in the first years of the 20th century as covenants restricting their construction ran out, to taller, classically ornamented high-rises designed by Rosario Candela and others following World War 1, through to the Great Depression and World War II era apartments of George F. Pelham, Jr. and Boak & Paris, the proposed buildings have all the hallmarks of Upper West Side landmarks.  It takes more than just fine residential structures to build a lively New York City neighborhood though, and the district includes schools, houses of worship, clubs, and commercial buildings that help tell the complete story of the West End.  HDC is also glad to see that the proposed district extends to Broadway where important buildings that have long awaited landmarking, such as the Art Deco Broadway Fashion Building, stand.

Again, HDC thanks LPC for working closely with the community and establishing a steady path towards designation of the Riverside Drive-West End area.  We hope this mode of landmarking large districts – calendaring the pieces together at once and then scheduling separate hearings for each throughout the year – proves manageable and will be used again in other areas such as Crown Heights North and Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn.

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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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