View from John Street Rendering courtesy of Woods Bagot/ NYC Parks
An open-air waterfront restaurant and bar could be coming to the South Street Seaport Historic District. The Howard Hughes Corporation and the city’s Parks Department on Tuesday presented a proposal to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for a new concession along the East River Esplanade under the FDR Drive overpass. Designed by Woods Bagot, the “Blockhouse Bar” would be a year-round establishment, with plans to add decking over the pavement, planters, and vinyl coverings during the winter months.
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227 Duffield Street; Map data © 2020 Google
The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday voted to calendar a property in Downtown Brooklyn that was home to abolitionists in a move that could potentially save the historic home from demolition. Harriet and Thomas Truesdell, known members of the anti-slavery movement before the Civil War, lived at the Greek-Revival row house at 227 Duffield Street from 1851 to 1863. Last year, preservationists and local officials called on the LPC to designate the building after a developer filed permits to raze the three-story structure and replace it with a much taller mixed-use building.
Rendering of proposed exhibition space by Culturespaces/ Woods Bagot, courtesy of LPC
An art center with immersive art exhibitions has been proposed for a landmarked former banking hall in Lower Manhattan. Culturespaces, a French museum operator, presented its plan to adapt the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank into a center of digital art to the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday. The design proposal from Woods Bagot Architects includes alterations to the landmarked interior to accommodate a ticketing area and necessary audiovisual equipment for the art center, as well as modifications to the exterior of the building.
Rendering by Gabellini Sheppard Associates courtesy of Tishman Speyer; via Landmarks Preservation Commission
A proposal to renovate Rockefeller Center’s public realm was approved on Tuesday by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Led by Tishman Speyer and designed by Gabellini Sheppard Associates, the project aims to restore the connection between the concourse and the sunken plaza, an element included in the original plans for the historic Midtown site. The design, which was revised following a public hearing in January, focuses on the pools of the channel gardens, the sunken plaza, and new seating and planting to maintain the plaza’s well-defined edges.
Rendering of the proposed cornice at Hotel Wales by Form4Design Studio and Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, LLC; via LPC
The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday approved plans to retrofit Carnegie Hill’s historic Hotel Wales, which is set to be converted into luxury condominiums. The proposal from Form4 Design Studio and Higgins Quasebarth & Partners retains the hotel’s Beaux-Arts facade, terra cotta elements, and scroll-bracketed balconies, as CityRealty reported. But the biggest alteration planned for the Carnegie Hill Historic District building is the new cornice and rooftop addition, the design of which the LPC on Tuesday said needs to be modified.
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Photo by Cody Nottingham on Unsplash
Just a few years after the demolition of the original Penn Station, the city founded the Landmarks Preservation Commission, in part, to make sure beautiful historic buildings were never destroyed again. When Mayor Robert Wagner signed the Landmarks Law on April 19, 1965, the commission was officially tasked with protecting sites that represent New York’s history and culture. During its 55 years in existence, the LPC has designated more than 37,000 buildings and sites. In honor of this anniversary, the commission this week released an interactive story map highlighting its work over the last five decades, from its first individual landmark, the Claesen Wyckoff House, to its first LGBT designation, the Stonewall Inn.
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Photo of One Centre Street by Alexander Lorenz on Flickr
The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission will resume its public hearings next week after being suspended for a month as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. As first reported by Brownstoner, the meetings and hearings will be held virtually on the video conferencing app Zoom, with the first happening on Tuesday, April 21.
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
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.
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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.
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