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The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
 
 
23 June 2009

In This Issue

Historic Progress for GVSHP Landmarking Efforts
Huge Turnout for NYU 2031 Town Hall

Historic Progress for GVSHP Landmarking Efforts:

There was historic progress today on GVSHP’s preservation efforts for the South Village, East Village, and federal-era (1790-1835) houses. 

Today the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) took formal action to consider the first phase of the “South Village Historic District” the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation proposed in December 2006,  by voting to “calendar” an extension of the Greenwich Village Historic District covering this area. This puts preliminary protections in place prior to the LPC taking a formal vote to landmark the area.  Once designated, this 235-building, 12-block district will be the largest expansion of landmark protections in Greenwich Village since the Greenwich Village Historic District was designated in 1969The LPC has indicated they will consider the remaining two-thirds of our proposed South Village Historic District after the first phase has been designated. Today the LPC also calendared a proposed expansion of the SoHo Historic District, which includes several buildings within GVSHP’s proposed South Village Historic District. See preview coverage in today’s NY Post

Today was also a historic day for efforts to preserve Federal-style (1790-1835) rowhouses in Lower Manhattan, a project GVSHP has been leading since 1996. The federal style is the first architectural style of the newly independent American republic, and some 300 houses from this era survive in Lower Manhattan, many without landmark protections. In 2003, GVSHP and the NY Landmarks Conservancy proposed landmark designation of 13 federal houses in Lower Manhattan, referencing the 13 original colonies from which the style grew. Seven of those houses have already been designated (127, 129, and 131 MacDougal Street, 4 St. Mark’s Place, 67 Greenwich Street, and 486 and 488 Greenwich Street). Today the eighth house, 94 Greenwich Street (1798) was landmarked; the ninth house, 57 Sullivan Street (1817) was given a hearing by the LPC; and the tenth house, 7 Leroy Street, was included within the South Village/Greenwich Village Historic District which was calendared today. 57 Sullivan Street is also within GVSHP’s proposed South Village Historic District, and is the oldest documented structure within the South Village. For more information on GVSHP’s Federal houses preservation effort, CLICK HERE.

Several sites in the East Village which GVSHP supported landmarking were also heard and considered by the LPC today. These include a federal house at 138 Second Avenue, the Hebrew Actors’ Union at 31 East 7th Street, and the former Germania Fire Insurance Company Building at 357 Bowery. GVSHP has received a grant from Preserve NY (a program of the NY State Council on the Arts and the Preservation League of NY State) to conduct a historic resources survey of the entire East Village and make recommendations for further landmark protections for rest of this historic neighborhood.


Huge Turnout for NYU 2031 Community Town Hall

Last night 250 people turned out for the Community Town Hall on the NYU 2031 plan sponsored by GVSHP, Greenwich Village Block Associations, and a dozen other community groups (CLICK HERE for pictures). The public was presented with information indicating how NYU’s current thinking for its 2031 plan would roughly double its already breakneck pace of growth in our neighborhoods, adding the equivalent of all of NYU’s development over the last 44 years in just the next 22 years. Put in other terms, NYU is contemplating adding the equivalent of twenty more of their recently-completed, 26-story ‘mega-dorm’ on East 12th Street, the tallest building in the East Village, or sixty more of their recently proposed new ‘Center for Academic and Spiritual Life’ on Washington Square South, or two hundred more of their planned new Law School Office Building which will replace the now-demolished Provincetown Playhouse and Apartments building.

Those gathered agreed that NYU must stick to commitments it made as part of the “planning principles” agreement with community groups and elected officials that it will prioritize finding locations outside of our neighborhood for new development, and to prioritize re-use of existing buildings over demolition. The university has shown little evidence of living up to either commitment. Read preview coverage in The Real Deal.

HOW TO HELP

For more information on NYU’s development plans, CLICK HERE.


To join GVSHP or support our preservation efforts, visit here.
Connect with GVSHP:

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
232 East 11 Street, New York, NY 10003 : 212.475.9585 : gvshp@gvshp.org

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