Update on N-YHS
From Landmark West! ([email protected])
No Vote, But Landmarks Commission Sends Historical Society Back to the Drawing Board
At its public meeting this morning, April 17, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (that is, the 7 out of 11 commissioners who have not had to recuse themselves due to conflicts of interest) sent the New-York Historical Society back to the drawing board, but with clear encouragement to move ahead with plans to alter the Central Park West and 77th Street facades of the Society’s “Triple Crown Landmark.” The official votes haven’t yet been cast, and Glenn Collins’s blog (“Tea Leaves, Ink Blots, Entrails”) on the New York Times website suggests a few different readings of the tea leaves. Some say “the fix is in” – it’s up to the Commission to prove us wrong. Email [email protected] and [email protected] (and carbon copy: [email protected] ). Keep the pressure on.
The commissioners peppered the Society with many specific questions about doors and windows, access and egress. They carefully avoided asking about the 280-foot tower (click to see image) that the Society has advertised as part of a grand, windfall scheme to seal its future. Indeed, Chair Tierney gave Society President Louise Mirrer an easy softball pitch to restate her mantra that the facade changes are completely separate from any future project.
Divorced from the larger redevelopment scheme, the Society’s destructive tweaking of its facade makes little sense…And all the sense in the world. This is just the first round in a much longer fight to prevent the New-York Historical Society from selling out its Landmark to its developer aspirations. Our city’s history is at stake. It’s a fight we must not lose.