November 11, 2003
Hon. Robert Tierney
Chair, New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
One Centre Street, 9th floor
New York, NY 10007
sent via e-mail
Dear Chair Tierney:
I write to urge that the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission consider taking quick action to preserve 233-237 Bleecker Street, three rare, historic early 19th century structures in the South Village which are currently endangered.
233 Bleecker Street is a two-story wood frame house built in 1822 for a cartman named Hickson Wilson. 235 Bleecker Street is a brick extension of the building built in 1860. 237 Bleecker Street is a wood frame coach house built in 1830. 233 and 237 are two of possibly only three remaining wood frame structures in all of Greenwich Village, and among the very few left anywhere in Manhattan. They are architecturally and historically significant as embodiments of the early history of the development and evolution of New York.
However, the Department of Buildings has recently cited the buildings for hazardous conditions that clearly show that their futures are in doubt. It would be absolutely shameful if these buildings were allowed to be destroyed or to deteriorate beyond repair. (see the DOB violation at http://webapps.nyc.gov:8082/bisweb/ ECBQueryByNumberServlet?requestid=7&allbin=1010085&ecbin=34414595J)
As you know, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation is working on a proposal for designation of a South Village Historic District, and we look forward to working with the Commission on this. Recognizing the Commissionís limited resources, we are willing to take the time to compile the data and research to make the argument for the merit of a historic district in this area and provide information about each building suggested for designation. 233-237 Bleecker Street would not doubt be lynchpins in any such district. However, as we have always stated, we would ask the Commission to act quickly if any important historic buildings in the study area were threatened. These buildings could not be more historically important (see attached pictures).
I therefore ask that the Commission look into whether or not these buildings are in fact in danger of being lost or seriously compromised, as it appears they may be, and if they are endangered, take the action necessary to designate them to prevent this from happening.