Landmarks Preservation Commission

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Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History

14-16th fifth avenue, gvshp, greenwich village historic district

Streetview of 14-16 Fifth Avenue, Map data © 2020 Google; Painting of Henry Breevort via public domain, Photo of General Daniel Edgar Sickles courtesy of the Library of Congress, and photo of Celeste Holm via public domain

Madison Realty Capital filed plans last month to demolish 14-16 Fifth Avenue, a five-story apartment building constructed in 1848, and replace it with a 244-foot-tall tower. Because it is located within the Greenwich Village Historic District, it can only be demolished if the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission rules that the building itself is of no historic or architectural merit, and does not contribute to the character of the district (the public hearings where this would be debated and decided have not yet been scheduled). What may seem like a nondescript apartment building actually has an incredibly rich and varied history. Throughout its 170-year history, 14-16 Fifth Avenue was home to Civil War generals, Gold Rush writers, Oscar-winning actors, railroad magnates, pioneering industrialists, inventors, and politicians. What follows is just some of the history behind this easily-overlooked lower Fifth Avenue landmark.

One building, tons of history

Architecture, Flatiron, Landmarks Preservation Commission

Rendering of Wizarding World by Studio Superette, courtesy of Manhattan Community Board 5

The landmarks committee of a Manhattan community board this week dismissed the design for a proposed Harry Potter-themed store and exhibit in the Flatiron District. Warner Brothers Entertainment announced plans last September to open Wizarding World at 935 Broadway, a landmarked building constructed in 1861. But the company’s proposal to alter the historic structure by adding wand-style flagpoles and a fiberglass dragon was rejected as “inappropriate” by Manhattan Community Board 5’s landmarks committee on Tuesday, as the Wall Street Journal first reported.

See the design

History, Landmarks Preservation Commission, maps

Find landmarks of the anti-slavery movement in NYC

By Devin Gannon, Fri, December 13, 2019

landmarks preservation commission, abolitionist history nyc, slavery nyc

Screenshot of the map courtesy of the Landmarks Preservation Commission

For roughly 200 years, between 1626 and 1827, New York City was home to more enslaved Africans than almost every other city in the country. But after abolishing slavery nearly 40 years before the nation, the city became a major player of the national abolitionist movement, housing anti-slavery activists and organizations, as well as many stops on the Underground Railroad. Now 400 years after the first enslaved Africans arrived in the United States, the Landmarks Preservation Commission released this week an interactive story map highlighting designated city landmarks tied to the abolitionist movement.

Explore the map

Greenwich Village

14-16 Fifth Avenue

Developer Madison Equities filed plans on Thursday to demolish two five-story buildings at 14-16 Fifth Avenue in favor of a 21-story, 244-foot luxury apartment tower. According to The Real Deal, Madison Equities bought the property with City Urban Realty in 2015 for $27.5 million and at the time cited plans to renovate the existing apartments. The buildings currently contain 20 units of “relatively affordable housing” while the proposed new building would comprise 18 “super-luxury” units. The Gothic Revival townhouses date back to 1848 and are landmarked within the Greenwich Village Historic District so the plans can only proceed with approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

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History, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Nomad

Tin Pan Alley buildings; Photo by Eden, Janine and Jim on Flickr

The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday designated five Nomad buildings linked to the birthplace of American pop music. Tin Pan Alley, a stretch of West 28th Street named to describe the sound of piano music heard from street level, served as an epicenter for musicians, composers, and sheet music publishers between 1893 and 1910. During this nearly two-decade period, some of the most memorable songs of the last century were produced, including “God Bless America” and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

More here

Brooklyn, Gowanus, Landmarks Preservation Commission

Photos courtesy of LPC

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday designated five properties in Gowanus as individual landmarks ahead of the neighborhood’s impending rezoning. The buildings are architecturally significant examples of Brooklyn’s industrial past with relationships to the Canal, according to the commission. “These buildings stand out in the neighborhood as tangible reminders of the rich history of the neighborhood and the Gowanus Canal,” LPC Chair Sarah Carroll said. “They are all inherently connected to the manufacturing industries and institutions that developed around the canal in the late-19th and early-20th century.”

Learn more

Brooklyn, Gowanus, Landmarks Preservation Commission

Via LPC

Five properties in Gowanus may be landmarked as the Brooklyn neighborhood prepares to be rezoned. The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday voted to calendar eight buildings across five properties in the neighborhood, describing them as both architecturally significant, as well as closely associated with the history of the Gowanus Canal. The decision to calendar the sites comes after the city released in January its rezoning draft for Gowanus, which includes enabling more residential buildings and access to the waterfront.

More info here

Bay Ridge, Landmarks Preservation Commission

LPC designates Bay Ridge’s first historic district

By Devin Gannon, Tue, June 25, 2019

LPC, Bay ridge, historic districts,landmarks, Landmarks Preservation Commission

Courtesy of Landmarks Preservation Commission

Bay Ridge has gained its first historic district. The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted on Tuesday to landmark an area in the Brooklyn neighborhood along Bay Ridge Parkway between 4th and 5th Avenues. Dubbed Doctors’ Row due to its historic and current demographics, the district consists of one block of 54 architecturally consistent row houses. LPC Chair Sarah Carroll said after surveying Bay Ridge, the commission found that this particular block “really does stand out in the neighborhood in terms of high-quality architecture and consistency.”

A first for Bay Ridge

Historic Homes, History, Landmarks Preservation Commission

Top, left to right: GAA Firehouse, James Baldwin Residence, LGBT Community Center; Bottom, left to right: Audre Lorde Residence, Women’s Liberation Center, Caffe Cino; Photos courtesy of NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

Six sites significant to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community of New York City officially became city landmarks on Tuesday. The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to designate the Gay Activists Alliance Firehouse, the Women’s Liberation Center, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, Caffe Cino, James Baldwin’s Upper West Side home, and the Staten Island home of Audre Lorde. The designations coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, as well as the city’s first time hosting WorldPride.

Find out more

History, Landmarks Preservation Commission

Top, left to right: GAA Firehouse, James Baldwin Residence, LGBT Community Center; Bottom, left to right: Audre Lorde Residence, Women’s Liberation Center, Caffe Cino; Photos courtesy of NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

During a hearing on Tuesday, New York City residents, members of the LGBTQ community, and elected officials voiced their support for the landmarking of six individual sites related to the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Advocates say the proposed landmarks would recognize groups and individuals who have advanced the LGBTQ rights movement. Ken Lustbader, co-director of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, urged LPC to preserve the sites. “The Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation of these six LGBTQ sites has the power to provide both a tangible, visceral connection to what is often an unknown and invisible past and the intangible benefits of pride, memory, identity, continuity, and community,” Lustbader said on Tuesday.

Details here

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