135 Bowery is Landmarked!

Posted on: June 29th, 2011 at 6:41 am by

Old-world buildings on the Bowery are falling at an alarming rate these days to make way for the sleek new vision of the thoroughfare.  Hotels, bars, galleries, and more hotels.  The most recent, of course, was the loss of the historically-valuable Federal-style row house at 35 Cooper Square.  Developer Arun Bhatia made quick work of that building, which now sits as a vacant sandlot.  But there is finally some good news for a change.

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Yesterday morning, 206 Bowery landmark holdout Ralph Lewis sent along exciting news that the Landmarks Preservation Commission decided to landmark 135 Bowery:

I just came back from the LPC meeting, and great news, Bowery has a brand new landmark. The federal-style house at 135 Bowery is now officially designated. And just shy of its 200 year birthday. What a great thing for this historic neighborhood.

The whole ordeal clocks in at two years of work and political red tape.  Now the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, which works tirelessly to preserve the Bowery, is celebrating.  They sent along the following positive press release:

The Bowery Alliance of Neighbors (BAN) is delighted by today’s vote of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to designate the circa 1818 Federal style house at 135 Bowery a New York City individual Landmark. The Landmarks Committee of the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors first proposed the historic house to the Landmarks Preservation Commission through a Request for Evaluation on August 8, 2009. “After a process of two years, we are pleased by today’s vote of the Commission, which we anticipate will protect this almost 200 year-old dwelling from demolition or inappropriate alterations,” declared Mitchell Grubler, Chair of BAN’s Landmarks Committee. Grubler went on to say, “Even today, with the Bowery’s rapid pace of gentrification, it still boasts a remarkable number of surviving Federal era houses built during the historic thoroughfare’s earliest period of development. Including some of the surviving Federal style houses, we have identified about twenty historical buildings which we would like the Commission to consider for landmark designation.”

The Bowery Alliance of Neighbors is a grassroots neighborhood organization formed about four years ago to educate the public about the historic significance of the Bowery and advocate for the protection of its historical low-rise character, small businesses and long-term residents.

According to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, “The 135 Bowery House is…among the relatively rare surviving and intact Manhattan town houses of the Federal style and period, and is one of only a handful still extant on the Lower East Side and along the Bowery.” The 2 ½-story wood-frame, brick-faced Federal style row house was constructed circa 1818 as the primary residence of John A Hardenbrook, a soap and candle manufacturer who maintained a shop in the still-extant building next door. The design of the 135 Bowery House is characteristic of the Federal style with its Flemish-bond brick work, its minimal wood cornice, and its high peaked roof with dormer windows.

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