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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: 27 East 4th Street
Dear Chair Tierney:
The current proposal for a 9-story hotel at 27 East 4th Street is deeply problematic and I urge you not to approve it.
I am extremely concerned about the impact the proposed construction could have on the adjacent Merchant’s House Museum, one of New York’s most important interior and exterior landmarks. Without extreme care and extensive precautions, demolition and construction on an adjoining lot to the Museum could do irreparable damage to this precious, fragile, publicly-owned landmark.
Even if the safety of the Merchant’s House could be assured, the current design is not appropriate for the site, which is part of the NoHo Historic District. The façade of large dark plate glass does not relate to the character of this block or of NoHo. The proposed height and scale of the building would also overwhelm the humanly-scaled 19th century structure housing the Merchant’s House Museum and garden next door. A more appropriate scale to look to would be the previously existing structure on this site which was demolished in the 1940s, or the 4th Street wing of the new development at the Bowery and 4th Street, which the LPC required relate to the lower scale of the landmarked 19th century houses on the block.
In light of these very serious issues I urge you not to approve the current proposal for demolition and construction on this site. I also urge you to work with the Department of Buildings and the Parks Department, which owns the Merchant’s House, to ensure that no demolition or new construction moves ahead on this site until appropriate measures can be put in place to ensure the safety of the Merchant’s House, and any until any proposal is redesigned with appropriate character and scale for this site.
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