Join the Historic Districts Council in telling the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission that Landmarks should stay as Landmarks!
Express your support for the preservation of the individually-landmarked West Park Presbyterian Church and tell them you are opposed to their hardship application to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission for its de-designation and demolition.
Urge the LPC to deny the hardship application and uphold the designation status of this significant complex. West Park Presbyterian Church, at 165 West 86th Street, was designated as an individual landmark on January 12, 2010. The church was designed by architect Henry Kilburn in 1899, including the redesign of an earlier chapel from 1885 on the site by prominent architect Leopold Eidlitz. It is widely considered one of the finest examples of the Romanesque Revival style in New York City.
This building remains viable as a church for a Presbyterian group who continues to meet there weekly while also supporting nontraditional reuses as proven by the residency of the Center at West Park that respect and retain the structure. . All other reuse options should be explored before demolition is considered. From the documentation provided, it does not appear that the applicant has fully done so. Most alarming is the applicant’s lack of initiative to seek a buyer who would retain the building for the same or a different purpose, and continue this congregation’s legacy, begun in 1853.
While it is clear that significant funding is needed to maintain and restore the building, demolition for a new building is not the answer. If the hardship is granted for this complex, it will set a dangerous precedent for religious sites and other nonprofit landmarks across the city, especially those that have not maintained their buildings adequately.
Send a letter to the LPC in opposition to the application.
Other ways to help:
Learn more about the significance of West Park and the history of hardship. Watch the recording of HDC’s May 25th online program, co-sponsored with Landmark West and New York Preservation Archive Project, here: https://www.landmarkwest.org/west-park-presbyterian/
Send a letter or testify at Community Board 7’s hearing on the hardship application on June 7th. Learn more on their website here: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/manhattancb7/meetings/full-board-agenda.page ]