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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: Certificate of Appropriateness for former P.S. 64, 605 East 9th Street, Manhattan
Dear Chair Tierney:
I urge you to reject the application for changes to the former P.S. 64 at 605 East 9th Street.
The former P.S. 64 is a singularly important individual landmark, and any proposed changes deserve the highest degree of scrutiny. The buildings is an iconic and in many ways the foremost example of CBJ Snyder’s public school design work, turning functional structures into civic monuments and multi-faceted community resources. The proposed changes would diminish some of these key distinguishing elements of this landmark.
The mansard roof and pedimented dormer windows are among the most significant and defining features of the building. The proposed visible bulkheads and metal screen railings at the perimeter of the roof would detract from P.S. 64’s distinctive roofline profile.
The proposed work also includes removing portions of the elevated courtyards on both 9th and 10th Street sides. These courtyards are also extremely important to the building’s design and are called out in the designation report as typical of Snyder’s fully developed H-Plan. To remove floor area from these courtyards would compromise not only the original design, but also Snyder’s innovative intention of providing open space in a neighborhood that sorely needed it. Additionally, the proposed additional fencing at the 9th Street courtyard would cut off the open space there, which is such a key part of Snyder’s design.
While the Landmarks Preservation Commission does not regulate use, it is in fact this new proposed use which is driving the proposed changes which run counter to the P.S. 64’s history as a public building and a community resource. I urge you to reject any plan which does not maintain these key facets of this wonderful building’s history and design.
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