Gansevoort Market Historic District gets final approval from City Council
3 Year campaign culminates in overwhelming approval following effort to derail designation by property owner
City Hall — Today the New York City Council voted overwhelmingly to approve the Gansevoort Market Historic District, finalizing a ground-breaking move to preserve the Meatpacking District, Manhattan’s last remaining market neighborhood. The vote culminates the 3-year campaign by Save Gansevoort Market, a project of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation founded in 2000 to secure historic district designation for the Gansevoort Market neighborhood. The designation covers approximately 102 buildings in 11 blocks of the Meatpacking district, requiring changes to buildings are approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. As landmark designation regulates building exteriors but not uses, preserving an appropriate mix of uses in the district, including meatpackers, remains a concern of Save Gansevoort Market. Also, several blocks in the neighborhood, including the site of a proposed 460 ft. tall tower, were not included in the designation, and preventing inappropriate development in this area also remains a key concern.
For a map of the historic district CLICK HERE.
“Today, by landmarking Gansevoort Market, the New York City Council acknowledged that preservation can be an important tool for economic growth,” said Save Gansevoort Market co-founder and area resident Jo Hamilton. “This decision goes a long way to dispel the myth that preservation stops development. Businesses have been attracted to the area precisely because of the unique sense of place created by the market streetscapes. Historic distract status will ensure that this vibrant neighborhood will continue to grow and thrive.”
“This is a dream come true,” said Save Gansevoort Market co-founder and area businessman Florent Morellet. “This means that historic district protections will preserve Gansevoort Market’s unique and wonderful sense of place. Now we must work hard to ensure that the mix of businesses stays in place, that undesignated blocks are protected, and that the district’s provisions are enforced.”
“As Manhattan’s last remaining market neighborhood, Gansevoort Market is of enormous historic and architectural importance,” said City Council Member Christine Quinn, who represents the area and fought for designation. “Its new landmark status will help to ensure that development in this unique area is compatible with the existing historic fabric of this vital mixed-use neighborhood.”
The Gansevoort Market Historic District was designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on September 9, 2003, and approved by the City Planning Commission in October. On December 1, the district came before the Landmarks Subcommittee of the City Council, where a single property owner and a team of lawyers and lobbyists urged the Council to reject or reduce the district. Initially, several members of the Council expressed sympathy for the owner’s arguments, and a vote on the district was delayed. However, on December 8, the Landmarks Subcommittee voted unanimously 5-0 to approve the district designation with the existing boundaries, and on December 11th the full Land Use Committee of the City Council voted unanimously to approve the full designation as well. Gansevoort Market is New York City’s 81st and most recently designated historic district. It is also the first new historic district in Greenwich Village since 1969. In 2002, Gansevoort Market was named one of New York State’s “Seven to Save,” one of the seven most important endangered historic sites in New York State, by the Preservation League of NY State.
GVSHP continues to lobby for expanded historic district protections along the Greenwich Village waterfront, and in the currently unprotected South and East Village.
“This is a great day for Greenwich Village, and for preservationists everywhere,” said GVSHP and Save Gansevoort Market Executive Director Andrew Berman. “The preservation of a unique piece of New York has been assured today; no longer need we worry about this gritty, industrial neighborhood being replaced by a sea of glossy new high-rises. It’s character and history will remain for generations of Villagers and New Yorkers to enjoy and celebrate.”