The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
21 April 2011

In This Issue

Historic Preservation Ruling Could Impact NYU’s Expansion Plans

East Village Historic Districts To Be Considered

Deadline for Village Award Nominations this Friday

GVSHP’s Annual House Tour Next Sunday, May 1

Historic Preservation Ruling Could Impact NYU’s Expansion Plans

Some exciting news — the NY State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has ruled that entire Washington Square Village (WSV) complex, including its gardens, qualify for the State and National Register of Historic Places — read the ruling HERE.
NYU is seeking to build 2.4 million square feet of space in WSV and the neighboring Silver Towers complex as part of its 20-year expansion plan.

However, the SHPO ruling may impact those plans, as NYU is planning to use State Dormitory Authority funds for these developments. Now that WSV is eligible for the State and National Register of Historic Places (SNR), no state or federal money can be spent on any construction or demolition there unless it is reviewed by the State Historic Preservation Office. While the outcome of the review cannot be known until it takes place, the SHPO will generally seek to preserve the historically and architecturally significant features of SNR-eligible properties, and encourage the applicant to seek alternatives if they find the plans would negatively impact those features. GVSHP continues to urge that the university instead consider locations like the Financial District for its planned expansion.

Read more about it in the Villager, DNAinfo, and Crain’s NY.

NYU is seeking to build two giant curving towers in the middle of the WSV complex over the gardens the SHPO have just ruled SNR-eligible. Nearly all of NYU’s development plans in WSV and the Silver Towers superblocks also require large-scale zoning changes needing the approval of the City Planning Commission and the City Council. While the SHPO ruling by no means guarantees that NYU’s plans cannot go forward or will be changed, it does give us greater leverage, and adds to the argument that NYU should be looking to other more appropriate locations for its massive planned expansion.

In 2008 GVSHP was able to help secure landmark designation for Silver Towers, and in 2009 we were able to get  the complex ruled eligible for the State and National Register of Historic Places. That has already had an impact on NYU’s plans, as in late 2010, facing overwhelming opposition, NYU dropped plans to seek to add a 40-story tower to the complex, which would have required both NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission approval and State Historic Preservation Office review.

Click HERE for more information on NYU’s expansion plans and GVSHP’s efforts to address them.

East Village Historic Districts To Be Considered

Next week the Landmarks Preservation Commission will be holding a property owner’s meeting to discuss two potential historic district designations in the East Village which they are beginning the process of considering. According to the LPC, the districts being studied right now run along Tompkins Square North and are bounded roughly by East 2nd and East 7th, between the Bowery and 1st Avenue. In May, the Commission will come before Community Board #3 to discuss their plans and thinking about landmark designations in the East Village.

GVSHP has long called for expanded landmark protections in the East Village, and has been conducting a building by building survey of the entire neighborhood to help make that possible. We are encouraged that the Commission is considering expanded landmark protections in this neighborhood, but believe that all of the neighborhood should be looked at, and the districts proposed should be a first, not a final, step. GVSHP has been working with fellow community groups in the East Village and the Historic Districts Council on this issue.

We will share more information with you about the LPC’s plans and proposals when they are available — you can read more at DNAinfo.

Deadline for Village Award Nominations this Friday

Don't forget this Friday's deadline for sending in nominations for the Annual Village Awards
, honoring the people, places, businesses and institutions which make the Village, East Village, and NoHo so special. Send in a nomination HERE and find out more about the Village Awards HERE. And save the evening of June 13 on your calendar for the presentation of the Annual Village Awards at GVSHP's Annual Meeting.

GVSHP’s Annual House Tour is Next Sunday, May 1

Time and tickets are rapidly running out, so if you have not already, purchase tickets for GVSHP’s 13th Annual Benefit House Tour HERE. Read more about this year’s homes on GVSHP’s Blog ‘Off the Grid’ HERE, including the former home of Emily Post, and some remarkable spaces, with a backyard treehouse, and with a life-sized mosaic tiled tree. All proceeds from the tour support the education, research, and advocacy work of GVSHP.

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
232 East 11 Street, New York, NY 10003 : 212.475.9585 :


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