Rallying to Save Historic East 7th Street
On Friday GVSHP lead a rally and demonstration calling upon Mayor de Blasio and the Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission to reverse themselves and protect 264 East 7th Street (between Avenues C and D), an 1842 house planned for demolition. In 2008 the Landmarks Preservation Commission determined this house and four adjoining 1842 houses eligible for landmark designation. But when GVSHP, allied community groups, and elected officials called upon the LPC Chair to schedule a hearing on the houses to consider them for landmark designation, she refused, saying the Commission no longer considered them worthy of designation. Neither the condition, nor the historic significance of the houses, had changed since 2008.
Aside from being a surprising and beautiful relic in this stretch of Alphabet City, these houses have a deep historic connection to the “Dry Dock District,” once the heart of New York’s working port along the East River waterfront, and were once known as “Political Row,” home to some of the most important political figures in New York in the 19th century. In spite of this, Mayor de Blasio and his Chair of the LPC have so far been willing to allow demolition to move ahead here.
GVSHP was joined by neighbors and dozens of residents on Friday calling upon the Mayor and LPC Chair to reverse themselves and give these lovely historic houses a hearing on landmark designation. View video of the rally here and here, images here.
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One small positive note: due to the 2008 East Village rezoning which GVSHP and other groups fought for, any new development on this block of East 7th Street is limited to 75 feet in height after setbacks. Previously there were NO height limits for new development on this block.