Tag Archives: Landmarks Preservation Commission

Stonewall Inn Named Historic Landmark

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Stonewall Inn circa 1965On June 23, the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) voted unanimously to designate the Stonewall Inn an Individual Historic Landmark. The site is the location of the Stonewall riots of June 1969, an event that helped spark the current LGBTQ Pride Movement.

The building is already protected as part of the Greenwich Village Historic District and its significance derives entirely from its historical, social and cultural importance, rather than architectural, marking it a unique designation for the LPC. Continue reading

50 Yrs of NYC Landmarks Exhibit Planned

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Astor Place, NYCThe Museum of the City of New York will present a new exhibit, Saving Place: 50 Years of New York City Landmarks, a comprehensive exhibition exploring the roots and impact of a landmark preservation movement and its impact on New York City. The exhibit will run Tuesday, April 21 through September 13, 2015.

New York’s landmark preservation movement developed over many years, but was galvanized by large historic losses in the early 1960s, most notably the demolition of the world famous and architecturally significant Pennsylvania Station in 1963. Continue reading

NYC Preservation Commission Cutting 96 Sites

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unnamed(29)UPDATE 12/5: The New York Times is reporting that the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission has dropped its plan to remove 96 sites from landmark consideration.

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has announced an Administrative Action to “de-calendar” 94 proposed Individual Landmarks and two proposed Historic Districts from its roster (see map and list). These properties have been “Calendared” or “Heard But Not Designated” for at least five years. Continue reading

NYC Historic Districts Council Opposes Frick Expansion

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Frick Expansion planAfter many thoughtful meetings and two site visits to The Frick over several months, the Historic Districts Council has determined that we cannot support the proposed institutional expansion at the individually landmarked Frick. Our thoughts are outlined in our statement below:

In a city of superlatives, The Frick is unique. One of the last remaining Millionaire’s Row mansions of the Gilded Age, The Frick residence was designed from the beginning to become a museum. Henry Clay Frick stipulated in his will that his home become “a public gallery of art to which the entire public shall forever have access…”and to this end, a separate Board of Directors for his art collection was established after his death in 1920. After the death of Mr. Frick’s wife Adelaide in 1931, architect John Russell Pope was commissioned to architecturally guide the mansion’s transition to a museum (described in its 1973 designation report as “sensitive architectural blendings of alterations and additions with the original mansion”).  From its beginnings, The Frick has been a thoughtful, considered place. Continue reading

Commission Approves NYC Rooftop Additions

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View of the Hudson from inside the Apthorp open air north pergolaA revised proposal for rooftop additions to the Apthorp was approved unanimously on August 12, 2014, by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). The Apthorp is a NYC Individual Landmark, designed by architects Clinton & Russell and completed in 1908, and occupies a full city block between Broadway and West End Avenue and West 78th and 79th Streets.

The proposal was the third iteration of a plan first heard at LPC Public Hearing in November, 2013, which drew palpable opposition from elected officials, noted architects, community groups, neighbors and Apthorp residents. Continue reading

NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Named

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unnamed(13)This morning New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announced his choice for Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair – architect and urban planner Meenakshi Srinivasan.

Srinivasan, a native of India, has a bachelor’s degree in architecture from New Delhi’s School of Planning and Architecture and a master’s degree in city planning, urban design, and architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1990 she began work at the Department of City Planning, and in 2000 was named deputy director of Planning’s Manhattan office where she led the Special Midtown District Theater Subdistrict rezoning, the Sixth Avenue rezoning, and the Hudson Yards Master Plan. Continue reading

On Park Avenue, A Preservation Declaration of ‘No Style’

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1010-Park-Avenue-1920s_NYPL-300x287On Tuesday, April 29th, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) voted to designate the Park Avenue Historic District as the city’s 111th historic district.

I am thrilled about this designation and is especially thankful for the LPC’s swift action on this item. However, the commissioners’ deliberate decision to specify the Park Avenue Christian Center’s rectory and parish house as “no style” is confusing. When you think of a place with “no style”, Park Avenue is not what usually comes to mind. Continue reading

The Next NYC Landmarks Commission Chair

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NYC Landmarks Preservation CommissionIt is the Historic Districts Council’s firm belief, backed up by decades of observation, that the New York City Landmarks Law and the Commission empowered by it have enhanced and improved New York City.  Landmark designation stabilizes neighborhoods, enhances property values, empowers communities and attracts private investment into the city. More importantly, landmarks and historic districts provide a physical continuity to our city’s past, enabling residents and visitors alike to physically experience New York’s history.

With all this in mind, it’s no mystery that the still unfilled de Blasio appointment for Landmarks Chair is a matter of great interest to us and we have thought a great deal about the type of person whom we’d like to see in the role. Continue reading

Commentary: Demolition of Marx Brothers Place

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The following commentary and call to action was issued by the 93rd Street Beautification Association and is reprinted here in it’s entirety for your information:

Anybody who has been paying the slightest bit of attention to the doings of Marx Brothers Place over the last few years knows full well that the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has dispatched numerous letters refusing the community’s request to calendar this historic block for a public hearing. The LPC’s lack of interest in landmarking historic Marx Brothers Place is nothing new: It’s legendary.

In fact, it was precisely the LPC’s anemic response to Marx Brothers Place that inspired the broad coalition of advocates to speak out in support of extending the Carnegie Hill Historic District (CHHD) so as to include the incomparable collection of historic structures on East 93rd Street before the entire block is marked with a big red X for the wrecking ball.

Notoriously, historic districts have been repeatedly rejected by the LPC for years – a commission into whose vortex designation requests (RFEs) disappear like socks in the dryer – and languished without legal protection from demolition before finally being calendered and properly designated.

The community coalition which robustly supports designating historic Marx Brothers Place – and includes the 93rd Street Beautification Association; Carnegie Hill Neighbors; Historic Districts Council; New York Landmarks Conservancy; Place Matters (a collaboration of the Municipal Arts Society and Citylore); Members of the Marx Brothers family; Woody Allen; Bob Weide; Andrew Berman; Bronson Binger; Michael Devonshire; 93rd Street Block Association; Brewery Hill Block Association; Assemblyman Micah Kellner; Assemblyman Jonathan Bing; NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin; NY State Senator Jose Serrano; Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and countless other preservationists, homeowners, residents, artists and historians – has been battling against the LPC’s lethargy toward historic Marx Brothers Place since day one.

Backed by the uncompromising historic evidence – research unearthed by a Preservation historian at Columbia University’s acclaimed Graduate School of Architecture & Historic Preservation – this massive community coalition continues its efforts to try to enlighten and educate the LPC as to the fact that Marx Brothers Place not only meets the criteria for landmarking in NYC, it surpasses it.

Make no mistake: The Marx Brothers Place community coalition stands resolute in its position that this world famous block in Carnegie Hill warrants immediate protection from indiscriminate demolition because of its historic, cultural and architectural significance.

So on Monday, July 19 – when Community Board 8’s (CB8’s) Landmarks Committee voted 7-0 (with one abstention) to send a powerful message to the LPC resolving that this important historic block should be landmarked by the city – this devoted community coalition had much to celebrate when, after years of advocating, it had successfully moved that much closer to its goal.

And had the 93rd Street Beautification Association’s request to CB8 gone according to normal procedure, the next step in this public process would have been for CB8’s Landmarks Committee to present to the Full CB8 Board the fact of its overwhelmingly 7-0 vote and the reasons the Committee had decided to so strongly support the request to landmark historic East 93rd Street. But, as many of you know by now, what followed was anything but ‘normal procedure’.

NYC Council Member Dan Garodnick had insisted that the 93rd Street Beautification Association first get the blessing of CB8 before he would be willing to wield his influence in asking the LPC to calender Marx Brothers Place for a public hearing. But then instead of celebrating the Association’s 7-0 victory before CB8’s Landmarks Committee, the Council Member chose instead to turn his back on his constituents and, without so much as a heads-up to the Association, furtively did his level best to undermine the preservation campaign’s progress.

On Wednesday, July 21 – the same day that the full CB8 Board was scheduled to vote on Marx Brothers Place – CM Garodnick reportedly contacted a co-chair of CB8’s Landmarks Committee, Jane Parhsall, to offer her copies of a stale letter he had received from the LPC dated May 26, 2010.

The ‘Garodnick letter’ – as it has come to be known – was not a revelatory piece of news and its boilerplate language was nothing more than the same old, same old misinformation that the coalition has been disputing for years (it should also be noted that despite repeated requests, CB8 has – to date – failed to provide the Association with a copy of the ‘Garodnick letter’ which it only allowed the Association to see after CB8 Landmarks Committee co-chair Parshall had already dramatically misrepresented its contents to the entire CB8 audience before the full CB8 Board vote on July 21).

While deliberately overstating the import of yet one more of the LPC’s perennial letters – brushing off the request to calender Marx Brothers Place for a public hearing – CM Garodnick and CB8’s Parshall sorely underestimated the public interest in landmarking this storied block.

Smacking of the sort of dirty, petty politics the public has come to expect from its elected and appointed officials – who time and time again fail the public while proving unworthy of carrying out the people’s business – Garodnick and Parshall’s blatant breach of the public trust in the process to which Marx Brothers Place is due smells riper than a rotten fish.

Thanks for your continued interest in historic Marx Brothers Place!

For more information about the 93rd Street Beautification Association or Marx Brothers Place, contact 93rdst.beautification@gmail.com or 212.969.8138 or visit the blogs at Save Marx Brothers Place or The Marx Brothers Place Report.

You can also follow Marx Brothers Place on Twitter @93rdStreet, Facebook @ Save Marx Brothers Place, YouTube @ Marx Brothers Place and on MySpace @ Marx Brothers Place.

To make a tax-deductible contribution to the preservation campaign, click here.