Support for landmarking 326 & 328 East 4th Street grows, but City resists
Since the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and East Village Community Coalition first launched the campaign to save 326 & 328 East 4th Street from planned destruction by a new owner, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has been flooded with hundreds of letters and e-mails supporting the call for lanmdmarking them. The threatened houses’ remarkably intact 170 year old Greek Revival features, and cultural histories as merchant’s housing erected by the builder of the first steamship to cross the Atlantic, then tenement housing for immigrants, then a Hungarian Synagogue, and finally home to a utopian arts collective, have resonated with neighborhood residents, preservationists, and chroniclers or maritime, industrial, Jewish, and bohemian history.
City Councilmember Rosie Mendez, State Senator Dan Squadron and Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, the Historic Districts Council, and many others have also written to the Landmarks Preservation Commission in support of designation. And last month the State of New York agreed to GVSHP’s request that houses’ architectural and cultural histories were significant enough to qualify them for the State and National Registers of Historic Places.
However, as you can see from a piece which aired yesterday on NY1, the City is still resisting the call for landmark designation, claiming the houses are too altered and in too poor of condition to be landmarked. GVSHP and EVCC have responded, pointing out that the facts do no back up these claims, and are calling upon the city to reconsider. As these houses are so rare and special not only for the East Village but all of New York, we are continuing to push the City to act before it is too late to preserve their incredible architecture and history.