The Bowery Added to State and National Register of Historic Places
The Bowery, one of New York’s oldest and most historic streets, has experienced some wrenching changes in recent years, and some devastating setbacks to preservation efforts. Earlier this year, a developer demolished 35 Cooper Square, the oldest building at the north end of the street, and the City Council voted to strip landmark designation from 135 Bowery, an 1817 house, in order to allow it to be demolished (thanks again to Councilmember Rosie Mendez for the sole vote in the City Council AGAINST stripping the landmark designation). Out of scale development – mostly hotels and dorms – continues to transform the street, almost beyond recognition in some areas.
But now, thanks to the efforts of our friends at the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors (BAN) and Two Bridges Neighborhood Association, the Bowery has been listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places. You can read the comprehensive and captivating report nominating the Bowery for the registers HERE.
While State and National Register listing does not provide the protections against demolition that New York City landmark designation can, it does provide incentives and assistance for preservation and restoration of historic buildings, protection against state or federal actions or the use of state or federal funds which could be harmful to historic resources, and a recognition of the enormous historic importance of the Bowery.
Congratulations go to BAN and Two Bridges for their hard work and leadership. GVSHP will continue to work with these and other groups to preserve the Bowery with landmark protections and more appropriate zoning regulations, and to oppose inappropriate, out-of-scale development.