Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why we need to protect 316 E. Third St. — and other East Village properties


We've been writing about 316-318 E. Third St., the historic townhouse between Avenue C and Avenue D. The home belonged to Barden Prisant, a member of Community Board 3 who advocated for affordable housing.

As Curbed reported on Aug. 12, the new owner will turn the space into a Karl Fischer-designed, 33-unit apartment complex. This will not only destroy the home, but also the bucolic adjacent garden space.


On Monday, Off the Grid — the blog of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation — laid out seven reasons why the home needs to be saved. You can read those here.

Here's No. 7, and arguably the best reason:

Frankly, we’re just getting sick of seeing the neighborhood turn into this:

[Off the Grid]

The have created a template letter to send to the Landmarks Preservation Commission urging them to landmark 316 E. Third St. You can find that here.

Per usual, so far the Commission just doesn't give a shit. Per the GVSHP:

"The Commission has responded by refusing to hold a hearing on designating the structure, claiming that 'senior staff' at the Commission internally reviewed the building and found it not to be worthy of designation. This follows the Commission allowing other historic houses in the East Village ... to be destroyed." Like 35 Cooper Square and 326 and 328 E. Fourth St.

9 comments:

ghostinthemachine said...

I love riding around Alphabet city and seeing buildings like this. It makes me happy that I moved here. I hope they don't knock it down and rebuild, it would be tragic to lose the character of such a great area.

Stedman said...

This reeks of corruption. The "senior staff" of the Landmarks Preservation Committee have likely been paid off.

Jane D. said...

Who approves these structures? They do not fit in with their surroundings.
The location is off; as it's a block from the Flat Iron, thus not in the EV. However it suits this argument/debate: That hideous black glass tower directly across the street from the beautiful MetLife clock tower is a perfect example of this. Viewing from downtown it now looks like a burnt match sticking up into the skyline it's awful.

Anonymous said...

"To generate exuberant diversity in a city's streets and districts four conditions are indispensable:

1. The district, and indeed as many of its internal parts as possible, must serve more than one primary function; preferably more than two...

2. Most blocks must be short; that is, streets and opportunities to turn corners must be frequent.

3. The district must mingle buildings that vary in age and condition, including a good proportion of old ones so that they vary in the economic yield they must produce. This mingling must be fairly close-grained.

4. There must be a sufficiently dense concentration of people, for whatever purposes they may be there..."
— Jane Jacobs (The Death and Life of Great American Cities)

Anonymous said...

We need to preserve these buildings. I've read other articles addressing this issue on other sites and it appalls me how apathetic everyone is (including the authors). Some commenters even seem to think that these 'glass buildings' are a good thing. They're not. This blog has it right.

Uncle Waltie said...

You can go to Paris, Rome or Zurich. Cities with a way much longer history than New York. They have very strict zoning codes that prohibit building anything that interferes with the aesthetics of historical districts. Here, we have Bloomberg and his Real Estate cronies ride roughshod over any such concerns. But then...some of us voted for him three times. Maybe that's what we deserve.

JSE said...

I lived adjacent to this "bucolic garden" on the ground floor of the building on Ave D, for a year or so, and we left last year. I had a lovely conversation with the people who used that garden, and they invited my wife and I to their kids birthday party, complete with bollywood music. There are oreoles, cat birds, doves and finches back there as well, and it is a very peaceful spot. They told me that they were going to sell the building, as they really didn't identify with the neighborhood that they had moved to over 20(?) years prior. Just today we stood on our old deck there (we were picking up furniture after having sublet the apartment for a year) and I reminisced on the time we had there. There is supposedly some giant building going up on the corner of Ave D + Houston which will probably share the same aesthetic as the one going up on 3rd St. I wonder what the Russian Orthodox monks there next door on 3rd make of this...

Anonymous said...

Its all fine and dandy to preserve the past and old things. So those that want preservation, please donate your life savings so that those old things can be preserved. Otherwise, the owner can sell to whomever and the new owner can do whatever...

Shawn Chittle said...

I feel like making a commercial about the East Village/LES that mimics that 80's commercial with the native American who sheds a tear as he watches his beloved land violently raped.