Thanks to LPC De-Calendaring, 100 Historic Structures May Lose Chance to be Landmarked

Posted on: December 1st, 2014 at 3:55 pm by
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Unprecedented.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) plans to vote next Tuesday (December 9) on what is being called the “de-calendar [ing]” of one hundred buildings throughout the five boroughs. Procedurally, the LPC calendars hearings for which buildings and their historic and cultural currency are presented to the board who either vote in favor of land-marking or nay.

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Calendaring an address with the LPC typically means the following – no demolition, alteration, nor construction may occur before the hearing without first notifying and receiving approval from the city body. To de-calendar is to remove the opportunity to save these structures, and could be a huge boon to hungry real estate developers looking to cash in. These opportunists are destroying the historic fabric of our city interwoven over centuries. Please help preservationists preserve.

Here is an excerpt from one of the letters sent by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation(GVSHP) to the LPC:

Each of these sites is eminently worthy of consideration for landmark designation, and their de-calendaring as part of a mass action with no consideration of the sites’ considerable merits does a great disservice to our city’s architectural and cultural heritage, which the Landmarks Preservation Commission is charged with preserving and protecting.

This is deeply disturbing for several reasons. The lack of allowance for public input on such a sweeping decision is disquieting to say the least. Additionally, the lack of consideration of the merits of each property’s continued consideration for landmark designation seems to run counter to the entire purpose of calendaring and voting upon landmark designation. Finally, this enormously far-reaching step is being taken with very little public notice; my organization was informed about this from a colleague preservation organization, but thus far there has been no public notification.

To schedule such a vote for barely a week after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend seems almost designed to prevent public awareness of or response to this action. However, even if the date of the vote is delayed, it is wholly inappropriate to take such an action without allowing public testimony and feedback, and without a presentation to the Commissioners of the merits of each property and a discussion of those merits before any action is taken. Such an action would run wholly counter to efforts to increase transparency and public involvement by the Commission, and I strongly urge you to reconsider this plan

Below is a map of all the affected buildings in the immediate vicinity. Of particular note is the de-calendaring of two significant Federal-style row houses – 138 Second Avenue and 2 Oliver Street. Both were constructed within a decade of each other in the 1800s: 1832 and 1821 respectively. GVSHP is focusing on these buildings, too.

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If you choose to help, please send a digital letter to Mayo de Blasio and the LPC.  Please.

Nothing else left to say.

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