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City Votes Unanimously to landmark three more sites in the Far West Village

Photos left to right: 150 Barrow Street; 159 Charles Street (on right); 354 West 11th Street

Three more Far West Village landmark designations: Yesterday the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to designate three more sites as landmarks in the Far West Village — the Keller Hotel at 150 Barrow Street, the Henry Wykoff House at 159 Charles Street, and the Edwin Brooks House at 354 West 11th Street. In its designation of the two houses, the Commission noted the incredible job the current owners had done caring for and preserving their historic properties, a sentiment GVSHP echoes. For further historic information on the three landmarked buildings, CLICK HERE.

GVSHP was particularly pleased by the designation of the Keller Hotel, one of only three remaining intact former sailors’ hotels on the Greenwich Village waterfront, which had in recent years been empty and fallen into disrepair. The current owners, however, supported the landmark designation and are in the process of renovating the building as apartments — a renovation which will also require the preservation of the one-story building to the hotel’s east as a light and air easement for the new apartments. The other two remaining sailor’s hotels are the former Seaman’s Friends Society Hotel at 113 Jane Street, which was landmarked in 1999, and the former Holland Hotel at 396-97 West Street/305 West 10th Street, which was landmarked in 2006 as part of the new Weehawken Street Historic District GVSHP fought for.

Ongoing progress in the Far West Village: Yesterday’s designations are a result of the ‘Campaign to Save the Far West Village’ — which included countless community groups, preservation organizations and elected officials — and the commitment by the City to enact landmark and zoning protections in the area which consequently followed. In June 2005, after a year-and-a-half campaign led by GVSHP, the City announced an unprecedented joint downzoning and landmarking plan for the Far West Village. The downzoning, which stopped several out-of-scale projects and imposed height and bulk limits for any future developments, was enacted in October, 2005 . The landmark plan promised by the City included a new landmark district and the expansion of the existing Greenwich Village Historic District into the Far West Village, as well as the designation of eight individual landmarks in the Far West Village. At GVSHP’s urging the two proposed landmark districts were expanded in late 2005 and designated in May 2006. Yesterday’s designations were the first three of the eight promised individual landmarks. CLICK HERE for a map.

Further designations still to come: Five sites remain in the Far West Village which the City committed to designate as landmarks in 2005 but have not yet been acted upon. Though the City originally promised to designate all sites by Spring 2006, the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s commitment to these sites still seems strong, and we expect to see further progress soon. The remaining sites are:

    Westbeth, a 13-building complex at Bethune and West Street — the former Bell Telephone laboratories, in 1969 it was transformed into the nation’s first publicly subsidized housing for artists and one of the world’s first large-scale conversions of an industrial building for residential use.

    Charles Lane, a tiny, cobblestoned lane without sidewalks first laid out in 1797, which is reputed to have the oldest paving stones of any street in New York City

    370 and 372 West 11th Street, two rare surviving Greek Revival houses from the 1840s


Write to the Landmarks Preservation Commission thanking them for yesterday’s designations, and urging them to keep going!

Next: 02/08/08

Home : Preservation : Far West Village : Latest News : 03/07/07

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