In June, local preservationists made their case to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to designate East 11th Street between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue a historic district.
According to DNAinfo, this effort came about after the neighborhood groups learned in late May that the Lightstone Group had plans for a new hotel on the block.
However, the LPC ignored the request, according to Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP). And, as we first reported yesterday, the Lighthouse Group has filed demolition permits with the city to take down five buildings — 112-120 E. 11th St. — to make way for a 300-room hotel aimed at millennials.
Representatives for GVSHP, the Historic Districts Council, the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative and the East Village Community Coalition all signed the letter, dated June 9, addressed to LPC chair Meenakshi Srinivasan.
The letter reads in part (you can read a PDF of the letter here):
The buildings in the proposed district are a wonderfully intact ensemble of primarily early and late 19th century structures which are largely unchanged and representative of architectural styles of the era as well as the development of this section of the East Village. Building types within this small section of East 11th Street include tenements, tenementized row houses, a concert hall/community gathering place, a parochial school and a government building. These buildings housed, educated, entertained and served the working class and immigrant residents of this area. Thus the district perfectly captures and embodies the evolution and many facets of working class New York in the late 19th and early 20th century in the East Village.
112-120 East 11th Street
These are five Old Law tenement buildings located on the south side of East 11th Street and built between 1887 and 1892. Significantly intact, they were designed largely in the Beaux Arts style.
We asked Berman why the LPC didn't take any action on these buildings.
"I can only speculate," he said via email. "The LPC does not seem fond of expanding landmark designations these days, especially in Manhattan."
Anything left to do about this potential development?
"We are looking into whether or not every I was dotted and t crossed in terms of requirements for the tenants moving out," Berman said. "And we will continue to push for expanded landmark protections in the East Village, including in the remaining parts of this block." (They helped get Webster Hall landmarked across the street in 2006.)
Lighthouse is reportedly working with Marriott International's Moxy Hotels on the property. Reps haven't filed new building plans just yet. As we noted in yesterday's post, the Moxy website shows a late 2018 opening for the 11th Street hotel. (DNAinfo reported that residents have already been leaving No. 112-120.)
"This could have been worse," Berman said. "Before we got these blocks rezoned in 2010, you actually could have built a much bigger building here, and it would have been more likely a dorm. Don’t get me wrong, this is too big, and it’s bad. It could have been even bigger and badder, so to speak, however."