Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

Architecture, Greenwich Village, New Developments, Union Square

An “oversized Silicon Alley” is what some are calling Mayor de Blasio’s plan to transform Union Square and its southern stretches into the city’s next tech hub. The main component so far is the massive Union Square Tech Hub proposed to replace the P.C. Richard & Son building on East 14th Street, but Councilwoman Rosie Mendez and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation are advocating that, in exchange for the building, the city rezone the surrounding blocks to prevent an influx of out-of-scale development. Despite their oppositions, CetraRuddy has revealed on their site two environmentally friendly proposals for the site at 799 Broadway, the former home of the St. Denis Hotel at the southwest corner of East 11th Street. Spotted by CityRealty, the 240-foot, 17-story office building would be the first catering to the Mayor’s tech dreams, though the renderings are merely conceptual at this point.

All the renderings and details ahead

Featured Story

Features, History, Meatpacking District, photography, The urban lens

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation shares archival images of the gritty Meatpacking District from the 1980s to early 2000s. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at tips@6sqft.com.

“Few parts of New York City have transformed as dramatically in the last decade or so as the Meatpacking District. Changes in the area are physical as well as spiritual. What was once a deserted ghost town by day, nightlife, sex club, and prostitution hub by night, and bustling workaday center of the Meatpacking industry from early morning to noon is now a glitzy, glamorized center of shopping, dining, tourism, strolling, and arts consumption,” says Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. The organization recently released a collection of archival photos of the neighborhood’s post-industrial grit, “before the Whitney, before the High Line, before Apple and Diane von Furstenberg, even before Sex and the City discovered the neighborhood.” Ahead, 6sqft shares these images, from the 1980s to the mid-2000s, which document the major transformation that’s taken place in just the past decade.

See all the photos here

East Village, Events, History

When we point the finger at gentrifying neighborhoods, the East Village often gets a lot of heat thanks to its quickly climbing rents, shift from a more diverse population (today, roughly 40 percent of the ‘hood is between the ages of 20 and 34), and loss of small businesses. And though this final fact is certainly true, especially as it pertains to eateries (just this past year we said goodbye to Angelica Kitchen, The Redhead, and Lanza’s), the East Vill still has a wealth of independent restaurants that pay homage to its rich immigrant history as well as a crop of new establishments that are sensitive to the community and represent the new wave of foodie culture. 

This weekend, two events will explore the past and future of the East Village through its food establishments–a walking tour led by 6sqft’s Senior Editor Dana Schulz for GVSHP will take you through the Italian, Ukrainian/Eastern European, and Indian history and A Taste of 7th Street will offer a self-guided chance to taste samplings from 10 local favorites.

more details here

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, Historic Homes, NYC Guides, Policy, stuff you should know

historic districts and landmarking nyc

In New York City, where buying and selling real estate is a high-stakes endeavor, the topic of historic and landmark designation is frequently raised. There are heated discussions on the subject of listing neighborhoods or buildings on the State and National Register of Historic Places or having them designated by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. It’s important to know what those organizations do and the distinctions between them. You could even be eligible for significant financial aid for your renovations if you own property in an historic district.

Find out what these designations mean, how you could benefit from them and why they’re sometimes controversial.

Featured Story

Events, Features, Historic Homes

It’s finally time to start planning outdoor activities, and what better way to enjoy spring in NYC than strolling around picturesque neighborhoods while getting a special look inside some of their most spectacular dwellings. House tour season is kicking off on May 1st with the Greenwich Village Society’s annual event, followed by nine other tours from standard historic house ‘hoods like Fort Greene and Park Slope to more under-the-radar gems like the secret gardens of Hoboken and the Victorian beauties of Flatbush. Whatever your budget and preferred architectural style, there’s a tour for you ahead.

All the house tour info ahead

Architecture, condos, Greenwich Village, New Developments

Greenwich Village, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, GVSHP, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Nicole Fuller, KM Associates, Valyrian Capital, Ajax Partners

Excavation is nearly complete at 54 MacDougal Street, a ground-up, six-story condominium being developed by Valyrian Capital and Ajax Partners. Up until 2013, a humble three-story townhouse stood at the 2,500-square-foot lot for nearly 200 years, dating its creation to around 1820 when it was built on land formerly owned by Aaron Burr.

The building lot is within a once working-class and immigrant neighborhood referred to by some as the South Village. Unlike large swaths of Greenwich Village to the north and cast iron sections of Soho to the west, the motley mixture of low-rise, pre-war buildings for years lacked landmark protections. Since 2006, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) has urged the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate a 35-block stretch of the neighborhood as an historic district, making it the city’s first tenement-based landmarked district. To date, two of the three phases of the district have been designated.

More details ahead

Greenwich Village, Major Developments, Policy

NYU Expansion Plan Opponents Will Get Final Day in Court

By Dana Schulz, Tue, February 24, 2015

NYU Expansion Plan, NYU 2031

A rendering of the expansion plan

In October, the appellate court overturned a previous decision by the New York Supreme Court that prohibited NYU’s $6 billion, 1.9 million-square-foot Greenwich Village expansion plan, but community groups vowed to appeal the decision. And they most certainly kept their word.

In a press release sent today by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), we’ve learned that the New York State Court of Appeals agreed to hear an appeal by GVSHP, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, Community Board 2, actor Mark Ruffalo, and other local concerned parties.

More info here

Greenwich Village, Major Developments, Policy

NYU Expansion Plan, NYU 2031

A rendering of the NYU expansion plan

The battle between New York University and local residents and community preservation groups just got a little fiercer, as just yesterday the appellate court overturned a previous decision by the New York Supreme Court that prohibited the university’s $6 billion, 1.9 million-square-foot expansion plan.

NYU now has the green light to move forward with their colossal project, which includes taking over “implied park land” that has been used by the public for years. Local community groups vow to appeal the decision. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, Community Board 2, and local residents, filed the lawsuit against the school in 2012.

More on the latest ruling and what it means for NYU and the Village

East Village, Greenwich Village, Interviews, People, Policy, West Village 

GVSHP, Andrew Berman

There’s been a lot of controversy around preservation in New York City as of late, and through it all, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) seems to always make its voice heard. From debunking myths about affordable housing and historic districts to advocating for the Village’s next great landmark, GVSHP remains on the front lines of the field.

Founded in 1980 to preserve the architectural heritage and cultural history of the Village, the organization now includes the East Village, South Village, Far West Village, Noho, and Meatpacking District in its purview. Part of the reason for GVSHP’s expansion stems from the tireless efforts of its longtime Executive Director, Andrew Berman. Since 2002, he has overseen the research, educational programming, and advocacy of one of the city’s leading preservation nonprofits. We recently sat down with Andrew to learn more about his views on the current state of preservation in the city and where he hopes to take GVSHP in the future.

Read our full interview here

Policy

wrecking ball, building demolition, historic preservation

It’s not always as easy as one might think to successfully advocate for the landmark designation of an historic building in New York, especially when that building’s owner is not on board with preservation efforts.

According to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), more than 20 historically significant buildings (including those designed by renowned architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Morris Lapidus) have been heavily altered or altogether demolished over the past 12 years after city officials gave word to owners that their buildings were under consideration for landmarking. This comes from a new report that GVSHP commissioned, which examines the Bloomberg administration’s actions regarding the notification given to developers and owners that the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) was looking at their properties, allowing alteration and demolition permits to slip through before any historic protections were granted.

We take a closer look at this preservation predicament