Third LPC Hearing for 9-Story Noho Hotel is Tomorrow; Merchant’s House Advocates Continue Fight

Posted on: April 7th, 2014 at 5:30 am by
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It’s a battle fought on the Lower East Side for two straight years.

The third, and possibly final Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing for that 9-story Noho Hotel at 27 East Fourth Street is set for tomorrow. Once again, neighbors and preservationists are gearing up for a fight, as the Merchant’s House Museum is directly threatened by such development.

The hotel developers were sent packing at the last meeting back in February, and were instructed to seriously revise the structural designs of the front and rear facades. In addition, one of the commissioners on the panel was quoted as saying, “I can’t think of another interior that’s more important to our history than this one.” Since this could be the last get-together regarding 27 East Fourth Street, it’s very likely that a vote could happen. Will this third time be the proverbial charm to protect the Merchant’s House from further destabilization?

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Original design for 9-story hotel at 27 East 4th St.

It would be a shame if the LPC didn’t reject these plans altogether. Activists are quick to point out that the commission, whose sole task is preserving sites of significance, all but gave up on 35 Cooper Square just around the corner (it never scheduled a hearing). And that building is said to predate the Merchant’s House by a few decades.

27 East Fourth Street, a property just off the Bowery, abuts the landmarked Merchant’s House. Its current function is a garage for food cart vendors to lock up their goods. Advocates are worried about Ed Caroll’s plans, which carry the very real possibility of damaging the already fragile 1832 architecture.

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When the Merchant’s House had neighbors

It’s also worth reiterating that Carroll possesses a criminal past. As previously reported, he served federal time for obstructing justice and “misleading a grand jury in 2002 during a federal corruption case against a business associate involved in elevator contracts for the M.T.A. headquarters.” He spent five months in the slammer, in addition to two years of supervised release and five months of home confinement.

If you plan on attending, the hearing is at the Municipal Building, 1 Centre Street, 9th floor public hearing room.

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