Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing March 27, 2018
Citywide
Landmarks Commission Welcomes Public Comment on Revised Rules

The New York Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) voted today to hold a public hearing in October to allow comment on recent changes to the controversial Rules revisions LPC announced last March.  The public, the Conservancy, and other groups spoke out against portions of the proposals and we said we could not support them. We joined with our colleagues in April asking that the changes be rescinded.  
 
We are pleased  the LPC heard the concerns and outlined a series of updates that we hope will resolve these issues. The LPC website will post the revised rules after today's vote.  
 
The Conservancy was concerned that the first set of proposed Rules revisions would add a complicated layer of bureaucracy to the permit process, requiring hiring an architect or expediter. They would also have limited Community Board review of projects that have a strong impact on neighborhoods, such as rooftop and backyard additions. The revisions would also have created a new category of “lesser” buildings within historic districts, potentially allowing significant alteration or even demolition in a district without public notification or input. 
 
We will be analyzing the new text to see if it addresses those concerns. 
  
Upper Manhattan
Conservancy Urges LPC to Protect Inwood Before Rezoning

The Conservancy has urged the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to act quickly to save landmark quality buildings in Inwood as the City Council vote on the proposed rezoning of the neighborhood is expected in August. 

In a letter to Acting LPC Chair Fred Bland, the Conservancy said a recent staff survey of the neighborhood found many worthy buildings eligible for landmarking. We also believe that Inwood Hill Park and Isham Park are eligible for scenic landmark status. ( Read the Letter )

Among the fine buildings we cited are the Church of the Good Shepherd and its gothic revival parish house, Public School 52, Mount Washington Presbyterian Church, and the Harlem Savings Bank.

Brooklyn
Conservancy Supports Saving Industrial History of Gowanus

The Conservancy has urged the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to act promptly to protect the many landmark eligible properties in Gowanus, a unique area marked for rezoning.


The Gowanus neighborhood contains many surviving examples of Brooklyn’s industrial heritage. Any changes to the zoning must take into consideration the area’s history and preserve the important sites that are a reminder of the Borough’s robust commercial history. The Commission must protect the structures that should not be lost in the rush to redevelop the area.

Citywide
Conservancy Promotes Preservation at Charter Hearing

The Conservancy is standing up for your voice in the debate over planning and zoning. We testified at a hearing of the Mayor’s Charter Revision Commission  on July 23, and told the panel that the Landmarks Commission needs to remain independent, that Community Boards need more resources to analyze complicated development proposals, and that New Yorkers want to have a say in how their neighborhoods evolve. 


Some two dozen speakers attended the hearing, commenting on issues from election reform, to Community Board appointments, to land use. The Commissioners are holding these hearings as part of a process that could lead to ballot measures in 2019. 

City Ventures Fund
Conservancy Awards Grant to Henry Street Settlement

Thanks to a $30,000 Conservancy grant, the Henry Street Settlement (HSS) will be able to celebrate its 125th anniversary by completing a final restoration project on its federal-era buildings. Our grant will help restore the original 1830’s fencing, that fronts HSS’s three connected headquarter buildings at 263,265 and 267 Henry Street. 

The Lower East Side not for profit has been providing social service, arts and health care programs to New Yorkers since 1893. HSS is completing a five year capital campaign to restore and maintain their landmark townhouses. 

A 1996 Conservancy loan helped restore a the dining room of 267 Henry street, one of the most architecturally and historically significant of their rooms. 

550 Madison Avenue - Midtown
Philip Johnson's Iconic AT&T Building Now Landmarked

The Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the former AT&T Headquarters at 550 Madison Avenue as an individual landmark today. Designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee, the building marked a turning point in the history of 20th century architecture. It ushered in the era of postmodernism by drawing on classical references and caused a firestorm of criticism from adherents of modern architecture.

The Conservancy supported designation ( read testimony ) as recognition of the building's iconic role as the first of its kind. It’s large broken pediment top has long been a significant feature of the City skyline.

Designation became especially important after the building’s current owners proposed major changes to the pink granite exterior. The owners ultimately supported designation and are revising their plans.

Mystery Landmark
Did You Identify This Mystery Landmark?

It's the Laboratory Administration Building within the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (est.1909) at 1000 Washington Avenue in Brooklyn. Designed by McKim, Mead & White, William M. Kendall, partner in charge, 1912-17 and designated a City Landmark in 2007. This neo-Italian Renaissance-style structure was modeled after small churches in the Lombardy region of Italy.


The building was correctly identified by Pinky Rockhill and one of her favorite landmarks is the small Sniffen Court Historic District in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan.
This month’s Landmark News is sponsored by   Stribling and Associates
This newsletter is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  
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