Protecting East Village houses of worship
GVSHP closely monitors building plans throughout the East Village, particularly now that a rezoning which would for the first-time ever cap new building heights in the neighborhood is under consideration. We were therefore greatly disturbed to learn at the beginning of October of plans to build an 8-story condo-tower on top of the beautiful and historic Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection at 59 East 2nd Street.
GVSHP and the East Village Community Coalition immediately reached out to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), letting them know of the threat to the building and urging it be landmarked, and provided historic documentation from our research to back up the request. I am happy to report that the LPC responded swiftly by brokering a "standstill agreement" with the church, under which no new construction or demolition would proceed at least through next Spring, during which time the LPC will consider the possibility of landmark designation. This is particularly welcome because a rezoning of the area which would prohibit development such as the planned 8-story tower atop the church will likely be enacted before the end of this year, and before the expiration of the standstill agreement.
In another positive development for historic preservation in the East Village, yesterday the LPC held a hearing on the proposal to landmark St. Nicholas of Myra Carpatho-Orthodox Church at 288 East 10th Street/155 Avenue A. GVSHP strongly supported landmark designation of the building, another beautiful and historic but currently unprotected houses of worship in the East Village. GVSHP continues to push for landmark designation of the Congregation Mezritch Synagogue on East 6th Street; demolition plans have been halted, but the LPC has not yet moved on landmark designation.
HOW TO HELP:
Send a letter to the Landmarks Preservation Commission urging that they landmark these three historic East Village houses of worship—click here
for a sample letter you can use.