Since plans were first announced by a developer to seek permission to demolish the landmarked 170-year-old houses at 14-16 Fifth Avenue in the Greenwich Village Historic District and replace them with a huge tower, Village Preservation has led the vocal opposition to this plan. On the coldest day of the year in January, we held a rally and press conference condemning the proposal attended by over 100 neighbors and Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Brad Hoylman, State Assemblymembers Deborah Glick and Harvey Epstein, and a representative of City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. And we have been performing more and more research establishing the unique historic significance of these buildings, and showing how woefully out-of-scale and inappropriate the proposed replacement building would be.
We’ve also been reaching out to scholars, writers, academics, and historians to support our argument for the historic significance of the buildings and to oppose any possible demolition – read just some of the letters to city officials opposing opposition of these buildings here. Because the buildings are located within a historic (landmarked) district, they cannot be demolished unless the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission rules that the buildings are of no historic or architectural significance, and don’t contribute to the character of the historic district. We believe such a ruling would be profoundly wrong and have dangerous implications for landmark protections anywhere in New York City.