The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

19 November 2014


Community Meeting on Preserving & Protecting University Place/ Broadway Corridors

West 14th/15th Street Contextual Rezoning Moves Ahead 

Greenwich Village Stories Makes a Perfect Holiday Gift! 

Upcoming Landmarks Applications 

Community Meeting on Preserving & Protecting University Place/Broadway Corridors

Please join GVSHP for a public meeting we're hosting on Thursday, December 4th at 6pm at the Baha'i Center, 53 East 11th Street (east of University Place) about preserving the scale and character of the University Place and Broadway corridors, and protecting them from overdevelopment.  
Plans have recently been announced to replace Bowlmor Lanes at University Place and 12th Street with a 23-story, 308 ft. tall residential tower -- one of the tallest buildings ever constructed in the Village (NYU's controversial "mega-dorm" erected a few years ago on 12th Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues is, by contrast, about 250 ft. tall). Sadly, this speaks to the almost total lack of landmark or zoning protections for the University Place and Broadway corridors (see MAP), where the zoning allows and encourages residential, hotel, and dorm towers even taller than the one planned for the Bowlmor site.

GVSHP has been in conversation with local elected officials and community leaders about potentially proposing and pursuing zoning changes for the area and an expansion of historic district and landmark protections. Zoning changes could reinforce the residential character of the neighborhood and limit the height, size, and scale of new development. Expanded landmark and historic district protections could help preserve existing historic buildings while requiring public hearings and approval by the Landmarks Preservation Commission for the design of any proposed changes, additions, demolition, or new construction within a designated area -- protections which most of the rest of the Village currently enjoys (see MAP). The meeting on December 4th will allow for further conversation about what such proposals might look like, what they would do, and what would be involved in pursuing them.

Anyone in interested in the future of the University Place/Broadway corridors is strongly urged to attend, to find out more and provide feedback. A flyer which you can share can be found HERE.

West 14th/15th Street Contextual Rezoning Moves Ahead

GVSHP strongly supports a
proposed rezoning of much of the block bounded by West 14th and 15th Streets, and 9th and 10th Avenues, to impose height limits and other contextual zoning controls on new development. The current zoning has no height limits, and not only allows but encourages grossly out-of-scale new development. While part of the block, on the border between the Meatpacking District and West Chelsea, was landmarked as part of the Gansevoort Market Historic District GVSHP was able to get designated in 2003, the remainder of it is not, and thus is vulnerable to inappropriate new development.

The danger to this block was increased in 2013 with the passage of state legislation which allows the transfer of millions of square feet of "air rights" from the Hudson River Park to this block and others up and down the Hudson River waterfront. With the contextual rezoning which is now being considered by the City, new development could not exceed a certain height limit, and thus the transfer of large amounts of air rights here to increase the size of new development would not be allowed.  When this rezoning was originally proposed by Community Board #4, it would have allowed much larger development on this block. However, after strong objections were raised by GVSHP and other community groups, the allowance for increased size of development on this block was removed.

The proposal was heard by the City Planning Commission this morning; read GVSHP's testimony HERE. The Commission is scheduled to vote upon the proposed rezoning on December 17th; if approved, it will go to the City Council for a final vote. We are very optimistic that it will pass.


Greenwich Village Stories Makes a Perfect Holiday Gift!

GVSHP's book Greenwich Village Stories is a love letter to Greenwich Village and the East Village written by artists, poets, playwrights, musicians, restaurateurs, and other neighborhood habitues who each share a favorite memory of this beloved place.

The sixty-six stories in this collection are original and vivid--perfectly capturing the essence of the neighborhood. Every corner of the Village is represented in the book: recollections of jazz clubs and existentialism on Bleecker Street to rock music on St. Mark's Place and folk singers in Washington Square Park. Contributors range from Lou Reed to Mario Batali, Karen Finlay to Wynton Marsalis; photographs and illustrations by Berenice Abbott, Allen Ginsberg, Rudy Burckhardt, Saul Leiter, Ruth Orkin, and Weegee, among many others, grace the book.

The book makes a perfect holiday gift. You'll not only delight your friends and family, but support the work of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation with your purchase!

Click HERE for more information and to purchase the book.

Latest Landmark Applications Available

GVSHP provides an ongoing record of all applications for changes to landmarked properties in our neighborhoods (Greenwich Village, NoHo, Gansevoort Market, the South Village, and the East Village) that require a public hearing before they can be approved. These proposals range from minor alterations to large additions, demolition, and new construction on landmarked sites.

Find out about the application, when the Community Board and NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission public hearings will take place, and how you can weigh in before decisions are made. You can also sign up for alerts to be notified of changes in the status of the application.    

The new applications below are scheduled to be heard in the near future at the Community Board, the LPC, or both. Click on each for more information.


41 West 11th Street

CB2 hearing: 11/24/2014
LPC hearing: 12/02/2014

37 West 12th Street

CB2 hearing: 11/24/2014
LPC hearing: 12/02/2014

To sign up for notifications of new landmarks applications, please click HERE.
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