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City Approves Demo of "Landmark Eligible" East Village Buildings

112-120 East 11th Street

The City has approved demolition of five late 19th century Beaux-Arts style buildings  at 112-120 East 11th Street (3rd/4th Avenues) which in 2008 it had determined “landmark-eligible.” Worse, GVSHP and allied preservation groups, aware that plans were afoot to develop the site, reached out to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) two months ago to make them aware of the plans. We urged the Commission to consider historic district designation for these and surrounding historic buildings, providing them with detailed research and arguments for their significance, and reminded them that in 2008 they themselves determined these buildings eligible for landmark designation as part of the environmental analysis for the 2008 East Village rezoning.

Frustratingly, the LPC refused to act, not even responding to the request. On Friday, the City issued demolition permits for the buildings, which are set to be replaced by a 300-room hotel. The failure of the LPC – an agency of the Mayor -- to even consider these buildings for designation is confounding and profoundly disappointing. Read more at DNAinfo, EVGrieve, Patch and Curbed.

As disturbing as this failure and the planned hotel is, it’s worth remembering that this could have been worse. In 2010 we successfully fought for a rezoning of the Third and Fourth Avenue corridors which eliminated the prior incentive for dorm construction in the area, and capped the height of new buildings, which previously rose as high as 260 feet. New height limits, while not nearly as restrictive as we would have liked, allow construction to rise to no more than 85 feet on the streetwall and 120 feet after setbacks.

GVSHP will be closely monitoring development plans as they move ahead on this site to ensure that all work conforms to required rules. We are also working closely with fellow East Village and preservation groups to advance proposals for expanded landmark protections in the East Village, to preserve this neighborhood’s rich history and sense of place.

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