Please send copies of all letters to GVSHP
232 East 11th Street, New York NY 10003
or fax: (212) 475-9582
or e-mail: email@example.com
Hon. Robert Tierney
Chair, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
One Centre Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10007
fax: (212) 669-7960 or (212) 669-7955
Re: Tifereth Israel Town and Village Synagogue, 334 East 14th Street, Manhattan
Thank you for scheduling a hearing on this important historic site. As one of the very first buildings ever considered for landmark designation in New York City, this venerable structure certainly deserves its “day in court.” The Commission first considered landmark designation in 1966, and the building has sat in “landmarks limbo” ever since. As new plans are being considered which could alter this historic structure forever or replace it, I think it is important that the Commission make a decision on its landmark-worthiness.
The building has stood at this location for nearly a century and a half, and provides an important connection to the waves of immigration which swept over the Lower East Side, as well as the post-war development of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, from which the current congregation gets its name. The unusual structure reflects strong German architectural precedents, manifesting the ethnic roots of the original builders and occupants of the structure as a German Baptist Church. The onion domes, added later, reflect first the Ukranian Orthodox and then the Jews of predominantly Eastern European origin who occupied the building, making it a wonderful architectural palimpsest.
Landmark designation would not prevent the current congregation from growing or even altering or adding to the building. But it would ensure that the key exterior historic elements and the connection to the building’s century and a half history remain. I urge you to move ahead with landmark designation of the structure.
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