However, we are very concerned that two NYU buildings and a row of 1840s houses were excluded by the City from the draft proposed district. The NYU buildings, Vanderbilt Hall and the Kevorkian Center, are among the most contextual and respectful of their surroundings of any of the university's buildings, and are directly tied to the development of Washington Square South. The houses on the north side of Houston Street between MacDougal and Sullivan Streets, next to the MacDougal Sullivan Gardens Historic District are among the oldest houses in the neighborhood and an integral part of the historic fabric of the South Village. Each could easily be replaced with out-of-scale new construction, and in the case of Vanderbilt Hall, the zoning would allow a 300 ft. tall tower on the site!
South Village Historic District proposed by GVSHP in 2006 and current landmark designations (l.); LPC's draft proposed "phase II" historic district, with critical sites left out noted (r.)
GVSHP has urged the Landmarks Preservation Commission to include these sites in the district before they finalize their proposed boundaries in May, and have supplied the Commission with strong arguments for their inclusion. Six area elected officials have joined us in urging the Commission to include these sites, but it seems more pressure is needed.
This landmarking proposal was the result of a deal between Speaker Quinn and the City to approve the entire Hudson Square Rezoning and part of the proposed South Village Historic District. Especially in light of the recent approvals by the City Council of NYU's massive expansion plans nearby, it is imperative that the Speaker ensures that the landmarking fought for by the community is as comprehensive as the rezoning recently granted to developers.
NYU Mars Another Piece of Village Architectural History
A hodge-podge of blank new windows and more appropriate older windows now litter the facade; it appears all the old windows may be going
It was disappointing but not entirely surprising to see that NYU's recent renovation of its Brittany Hall dormitory, a 1929 Gothic style former apartment hotel at 55 East 10th Street (at Broadway), carelessly eliminated the gothic-style casement windows, a critical architectural feature of the building's design. In previous renovations, NYU has kept this important feature intact, which is an integral part of the tower's original architectural nod to the landmarked Grace Church across the street. The university's actions are inexplicable and confounding.
GVSHP has written to NYU President Sexton urging him to undo the damage and ensure this renovation preserves the architectural and historic integrity of one of the Village's finest pre-war high-rises.
Call NYU's Community Affairs Office at 212-989-2402 and tell the university to preserve the Village's architectural history!
Latest Landmark Applications Available
GVSHP provides an ongoing record of all applications for changes to landmarked properties in our neighborhoods (Greenwich Village, NoHo, Gansevoort Market, the South Village, and the East Village) that require a public hearing before they can be approved. These proposals range from minor alterations to large additions, demolition, and new construction on landmarked sites.
Find out about the application, when the Community Board and NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission public hearings will take place, and how you can weigh in before decisions are made. You can also sign up for alerts to be notified of changes in the status of the application.
The new applications below are scheduled to be heard in the near future at the Community Board, the LPC, or both. Click on each for more information.