We have some good news to report -- Tifereth Israel Town & Village Synagogue at 334 East 14th Street is FINALLY scheduled for a vote on proposed landmark designation tomorrow, Tuesday, October 27th at 9:45 am (calendar here; public meeting item #2). GVSHP and fellow preservationists and East Village groups pushed to have the bui lding landmarked after the historic 150-year-old East Village synagogue was advertised for sale in 2013.
The synagogue was first built in 1866 as the First German Baptist Church; in 1926 it became the Ukrainian Autocephalic Church of St. Volodymyr; and in 1962 it became the Town & Village Synagogue, reflecting the successive waves of immigration and ethnic change that have swept over the East Village. Shortly after New York's landmarks law was adopted in 1965, Tifereth Israel was formally heard and considered for landmark designation, but never received a vote. However, it did remain officially "calendared" by the LPC, or formally under consideration for landmark designation, making it perhaps the longest time any building in New York has remained in "landmarks limbo."
GVSHP and our allies have been waging a campaign to get the Landmarks Preservation Commission to vote on landmarking the building. A new public hearing on landmarking the building was held on March 25, 2014, at which GVSHP and many supporters urged the Commission to vote in favor of designation (read GVSHP's testimony here). GVSHP has conducted extensive research into the building's unique architecture and history, and argued for its significance and the merit of its prese rvation, as well as generating hundreds of letters to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) urging designation. When new LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan was appointed in July, GVSHP immediately reached out to the new Chair and urged her to finally move ahead with a vote on designating the building.
At tomorrow's meeting (which the public can attend but at which it cannot speak), the LPC could vote to landmark the historic structure, vote not to landmark, vote to landmark part of the structure (a rear section of the synagogue was built somewhat later, which some have proposed excluding from landmark designation), or could defer again on voting.
For more information on the history of the Tifereth Israel Town & Village Synagogue building and the effort to preserve it, click here.