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East Village/Lower East Side Historic District Hearing and 128 E. 13th Street Landmarking Vote June 26th

East VillageGood news – a date has (finally!) been set for a hearing on the proposed East Village/Lower East Side Historic District and a vote on the proposed landmark designation of 128 East 13th Street, the former stable/horse auction mart that also served for years as a the studio of artist Frank Stella!  Both will take place on June 26th. Thank you to everyone who wrote letters, sent e-mails, and attended hearings to make this to happen!

The proposed East Village/Lower East Side Historic District was first calendared in June of last year after the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) agreed to expand the boundaries to add several important historic sites GVSHP and allied preservation groups urged be included.  Covering 300 buildings over 15 blocks, the proposed district includes key historic sites GVSHP has advocated for landmarking, including the 1891 Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection at 59 East 2nd Street, the 1910 Congregation Mezritch Synagogue at 415 East 6th Street (the last operating tenement synagogue in the East Village), the 1847 former German Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Mark (now Community Synagogue) at 323 East 6th Street, and the 1876 tenement at 101 Avenue A, home of the groundbreaking Pyramid Club.

331 East 6th Street

331 East 6th Street before it was demolished.

While this is welcome news, we are still deeply concerned that so many buildings have been lost or disfigured in the proposed district since the LPC first announced their intention to consider the area for landmark designation, and more destruction is imminent or likely.  This includes an 1852 house at 331 East 6th Street (next door to the German Evangelical Lutheran Church/Community Synagogue) which was just demolished, an early 19th century rowhouse at 80 East 2nd Street, and the late 19th century ‘French Flats’ at 51 East 2nd Street. With four and a half more months until a hearing and likely several more weeks or months after that until a vote to actually landmark, we are concerned that more developers will use the time the LPC is allowing to secure permits to alter or demolish their properties, as happened with 315 East 10th Street.

128 East 13th Street

128 East 13th Street

That said, in further welcome news, the LPC has also announced that they will vote on landmark designation of 128 East 13th Street, a building GVSHP filed an emergency request for landmark designation of in 2006.  GVSHP’s research had shown that this building was one of the last surviving horse auction marts in New York, a place where the Delanos, Vanderbilts, and Belmonts went in the early 20th century to buy horses.  Our research also showed that the building had become an assembly-line training center for women during World War II – the proverbial home of “Rosie the Riveter” – and in the late 20th century served as the studio of renowned artist Frank Stella.

In 2006 GVSHP uncovered a plan by a new owner to demolish the building and replace it with a 7-story condo.  GVSHP provided the LPC with documentation showing the incredible historic significance of the building, and requested that the Landmarks Preservation Commission immediately consider landmark designation to prevent this from happening. The LPC held a hearing, and stopped the demolition plans from moving ahead, but never went ahead with formal landmark designation. While the building has been safe for the last several years, GVSHP and our members have continued to call upon the LPC to move ahead with landmark designation.  The LPC has now set that vote date for June 26th as well.

Rosie the RiveterPlease mark June 26th on your calendar, as we will need supporters to come to the Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing and urge approval of the proposed East Village/Lower East Side Historic District.

You see more about GVSHP’s efforts to help preserve the East Village in a piece which ran on Channel 7 news today HERE.

Thank you again to all our fellow preservation organizations, supportive elected officials and especially City Councilmember Rosie Mendez, and to our friends and supporters who helped make this happen!

Next: 05/24/12
Previous: 01/18/12

Home : Preservation : East Village : Latest News : 02/09/12

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