South Village meeting draws crowds, effort draws attention
Study map of the area of the South Village west of 6th Avenue which the Landmarks Preservation Commission is considering proposing for landmark designation — includes about 235 out of 270 buildings GVSHP proposed for designation. Photo courtesy of Bob Estremera.
Click here to enlarge map image.
This Tuesday more than 150 people attended an owner’s / community meeting at which the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) presented their proposal for landmark designation of much of the first third of GVSHP’s proposed South Village Historic District. GVSHP and by far the majority of those in attendance expressed strong support for landmarking the South Village. Attendees also urged the LPC to calendar the proposed designation right away to prevent further losses to the area, to make a commitment to consider landmark designation of the remaining 2/3 of GVSHP’s proposed South Village Historic District, and to consider the proposed designation as a new South Village Historic District that would eventually include the rest of the neighborhood, rather than as an extension of the Greenwich Village Historic District, as the LPC is proposing — CLICK HERE for pictures.
The good news at the meeting was that the LPC’s proposal for landmark designation of the segment of GVSHP’s proposed South Village Historic District west of 6th Avenue included about 85% of what GVSHP proposed (approx. 235 out of 270 buildings — SEE MAP) which would be the largest expansion of landmark protections in Greenwich Village since 1969. The following day, the LPC also announced plans for an extension of the SoHo Historic District which also includes four buildings from GVSHP’s proposed South Village Historic District — SEE MAP. However, the LPC also said they would not calendar the proposed district until June, leaving developers and opponents of landmarking further opportunity to secure demolition or alteration permits which would pre-empt or prevent landmark designation — a grave concern of GVSHP’s. The LPC also did not make any commitments about when they would consider for landmark designation the remaining 2/3 of GVSHP’s proposed South Village Historic District, which faces numerous threats (though they have indicated they will consider these areas as well). And finally, the LPC continued to insist upon considering the designation of the area as an extension of the existing Greenwich Village Historic District, rather than as a new South Village Historic District that would honor and recognize the special and distinctive social and immigrant history and working-class architecture of the neighborhood, and eventually include the entire neighborhood, in spite of the overwhelming sentiment expressed at the meeting.
See coverage in Tuesday’s New York Times HERE and HERE, the supportive opinion piece in today’s New York Times, and the editorial in this week’s Villager newspaper supporting many of GVSHP’s contentions regarding the South Village.
HOW TO HELP
- If you have not already, please write to the LPC in support of truly preserving and honoring the South Village — CLICK HERE.