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Home : Advocacy : Gansevoort Market : Latest News : 09/14/16

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Questionable Approvals, Changes at Old Florent Space

(l.) The historic R&L storefront just a few years ago and (r.) its current conditions, renovated with compromising changes to the stainless steel storefront.

GVSHP has been closely monitoring changes to 69 Gansevoort Street, the iconic storefront located in the heart of the Gansevoort Market Historic District. Work there, permitted by staff at the Landmarks Preservation Commission, involved dismantling much of the distinctive ‘Moderne’ style façade and completely encasing the building in a construction shed. There was some fear and even reports that the beloved stainless steel “R & L Restaurant” sign, dating to 1949, and its contrasting brick backdrop would be destroyed.

The construction shed is now down, and the sign and brick façade have been restored.  However, we were disturbed to discover that changes had been made to the stainless steel storefront (also dating to 1949 and the building’s days as a luncheonette), some of which may have been permitted by the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s staff. Adaptive re-use sometimes requires changes and repairs. But this façade and storefront are mentioned in the 2003 designation report for the historic district as distinctive features, which means any proposed changes should be subject to the public hearing and review process (which this was not), and (we believe) should only allow the minimum necessary to restore the building and allow for its continued productive use.

See GVSHP’s letter to the LPC about it here. GVSHP urged the Commission to inspect the site and demand changes be made to the storefront. We have also registered our objections to allowing the changes to be approved at staff level, rather than going through a full public hearing and review process. In 2003, GVSHP succeeded in securing landmark designation for the Gansevoort Market Historic District.

The Commission has responded quickly to inform us that they believe some of the changes were not approved by the staff, and they will be pursuing enforcement against the owner. GVSHP will continue to closely monitor the site and push for full restoration of all historic features.



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Home : Advocacy : Gansevoort Market : Latest News : 09/14/16

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