GVSHP secures National Register nod for Mezritch Synagogue
GVSHP has long sought to preserve the Congregation Mezritch Synagogue at 415 East 6th Street. The effort to do so got a boost this week when the NYS Historic Preservation Office, in response to an application from GVSHP, ruled that the building qualified for listing on the State and National Register of Historic Places, based upon its architecture and its history (CLICK HERE). While State and National Register listing does not prevent demolition of historic buildings, it does offer tax breaks and other financial incentives for preservation of historic structures, and as in the recent case of Westbeth, it can provide impetus for the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission to move ahead with landmark designation, which does prevent demolition.
The 1910 Congregation Mezritch Synagogue is the East Village’s last operating ‘tenement synagogue,’ so called because they occupied narrow tenement-sized lots and served residents of the surrounding tenements. This striking neo-classical style structure was supposed to be demolished in 2008 when GVSHP and the East Village Community Coalition staged public protests to save it and called upon the LPC to landmark the building. While the LPC did not, following the protests the developer of the condo which would have replaced the building backed out of the deal. The building was saved temporarily, but its ultimate fate is far from clear. GVSHP is completing a historic resources survey of the entire East Village, which will allow us to make strong arguments and recommendations for landmark protections throughout the East Village.
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