Wednesday, December 16, 2015

[Updated] CB3 committee to hear proposal to landmark the Provident Loan Society Building on East Houston

[EVG file photo]

CB3's monthly Landmark's Committee meeting tonight will include a hearing on the proposal to landmark the circa-1912 Provident Loan Society Building, 223-225 E. Houston St. at Essex. (This item was withdrawn from a previous month.)

Why landmark the building? Well, for starters, to save it from receiving a 12-story extension...

[Image from Bluarch Architecture via BoweryBoogie]

As BoweryBoogie first reported in late October, the building's owners want to add 41,000 square feet for 38 residences (and a gym and bike storage) and well as commercial space. BB noted on Nov. 30 that the owners have already filed the permits for the new floors.

According to the Request for Evaluation (PDF!) of the circa-1912 building:

The Houston St. corridor continues to re-invent itself, now including new high-rises, redeveloped tenements, and dazzling penthouse additions to historic commercial buildings. Developers continue to create a newer, more diverse context with glass-clad high rises towering through unchanged rows of ornate tenements.

Unfortunately, we are losing some commercial buildings, which helped to open up the tight streets and sidewalks into their private spaces, adding to the context of this corridor. Further south, commercial spaces like this one-story branch office building are becoming less common. The Provident Loan’s branch office on Essex and Houston is a valuable contributor to the neighborhood, and helps balance the diversity of uses in the area.

After a string of random clubs and concepts through the past 20 years, the Provident Loan Society Building is currently unoccupied. The space served as a studio for Jasper Johns in the 1970s.

The Landmarks Committee meets at 6:30 p.m., University Settlement at Houston Street Center/273 Bowery.

Updated 12/17
BoweryBoogie attended last night's committee meeting, in which CB3 backed the bid to landmark the building. BB has more on the longtime residents who own the building plus the latest rendering right here.


Anonymous said...

Yes, preserve this building so the tenants of the luxury condos that will surround it have an amenity they didn't have to pay for.

DrGecko said...

Good Lord, even the preservationists have fallen victim to meaningless gabble.

"The Houston St. corridor continues to re-invent itself,"

The corridor isn't mysteriously reinventing itself. The developers are reinventing it.

"Developers continue to create a newer, more diverse context"

(See? They know it's the developers.) Of course, they're creating a *newer* context, because they could hardly create any other kind.

" with glass-clad high rises towering through unchanged rows of ornate tenements."

This makes it sound like the glass boxes are more diverse than the tenements, which is the viewpoint of someone whose knowledge of the neighborhood derives from low-resolution renderings. For the people actually here, it's backwards. The small and detailed tenements are much more interesting to people on the sidewalk than the huge, bland plates of glass.

Yes, of course landmark the building. But ... sheesh.

blue glass said...

thanks dr gecko - nailed it

Anonymous said...

Yes, please. That building is special and historic, and that small area has been decimated by overdevelopment the past few years.

Anonymous said...

A Norman Foster Hearst tower solution could work here

Anonymous said...

fuck that, bring back Albion!!!