Saturday, January 21, 2012

Not everyone wants landmark protection for the East Village

[Photo last week by Bobby Williams]

As you know, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) unanimously voted to create the East 10th Street Historic District* on Tuesday. (Perhaps we should include that name with an asterisk because of Ben Shaoul's last-second approval for a rooftop addition at 315 E. 10th St.)

Preservationists are now hoping that the LPC will give another swath of the East Village landmark status as well... an area that takes in some 330 buildings:

The LPC has not placed this item on their calendar just yet.

Today, in an article titled Preservation Push in Bohemian Home Stirs Fear of Hardship, The New York Times reports on the opposition to the landmark protection. Per the article by Joseph Berger:

Almost a dozen houses of worship, including the late-19th-century Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection and a crumbling century-old synagogue, argue that they are dependent on donations and that including them in a landmark district would make simple projects like repairing a window or fixing a roof more expensive and bureaucratically time-consuming.

Even worse, it would make their buildings and the valuable property on which they sit much less attractive since developers would be restricted in what they could do.

Now what?


evflip said...

I wish there was another way to preserve buildings in our neighborhood. Landmarking DOES put a tremendous burden on building owners. I did not hear this first hand, but I understand St Mark's Church was having troubles over replacing the (not original 1970s) windows in part of their church. Not that my heart is breaking for most landlords, and these developers must be reigned in, but what will this do for single building owners? ARE there any single building owners still out there? My point is that while landmarking seems like a no-brainer, there are consequences. Especially for non-profits (faith and non-faith based) serving our community.

Anonymous said...

This is also going to hurt small co-ops. Mine has already replaced its windows (forunately!) but not being landmarked enabled us to go from the very draufty double-hung to the much more sound-proofed and insulated tilt-and-turn. This will also prevent buildings from selling roofrights to top-floor shareholders who might want to put anything on the roof. Bad idea!

The architecture of this area is not that outstanding, and the zoning is already six stories max (except for NYU, which will probably continue to get individual variances). Whose dumb idea is this?