Webster Hall to be considered for landmarking
Next Tuesday, October 30th, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission will consider a proposal to designate Webster Hall at 119-125 East 11th Street an individual New York City landmark. This summer, GVSHP supplied the Commission with the extensive research we compiled on the history of Webster Hall, and urged the Commission to landmark the site; shortly thereafter the Commission voted to consider the building for landmark designation.
In addition to its architectural interest, Webster Hall embodies much about the social, political, and cultural history of downtown and the East Village. Originally a “hall for hire,” from the late 19th century through World War II Webster Hall was the scene of labor rallies, drag balls, costume bacchanals, and political protests. After World War II, it became an important performance venue for emerging Latin artists and folk musicians, and then a recording studio used by Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Julie Andrews, and for the recording of soundtracks for Hello Dolly and Fiddler on the Roof.
Beyond preserving its notable history, landmarking of Webster Hall is made all the more necessary because the zoning for the area (which GVSHP is fighting to change — see here) allows the construction of huge dorms and hotels, such as NYU’s 26-story mega-dorm, located on the same block.
HOW TO HELP:
Write to the Landmarks Preservation Commission supporting landmarking Webster Hall and five other sites in the East Village, and urging the Commission to consider further landmark protections for the East Village.