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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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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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