Certificate of Appropriateness Testimony

HDC@LPC – Testimony for LPC Hearing on May 21, 2019

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 8

124 West 131st Street – Central Harlem – West 130-132nd Street Historic District


A neo-Grec and Queen Anne style rowhouse designed by Cleverdon & Putzel and built in 1885. Application is to construct rooftop and rear yard additions, and install a barrier-free lift.

This is the first C of A of a major scope of work in the Central Harlem – West 130-132nd Street Historic District and whatever is ultimately approved today will establish the parameters for future interventions. In addition to being designated for being the former homes of Harlem Renaissance artists and also the birthplace of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, this cluster of blocks has remained unmarred by alterations or unfortunate outcroppings. This stair bulkhead will disrupt the cornice line of the entire street and is clumsily visible. This visibility is driven by the desire of an extremely large addition, which is actually an entire additional story. Further, there is no precedent for full width, three story rear yard additions in this historic district nor the nearby Mount Morris Park historic districts. The overall volume proposed here should be reduced, and the rooftop bulk eliminated. Finally, the lift proposed for the areaway appears to be carelessly plopped in the space, without attention to materials to ameliorate its presence.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications

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