Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Plan to add condos to historic East Sixth Street synagogue back on
Tomorrow night, CB3's Landmarks Subcommittee will hear proposed plans about a "facade restoration" for the Congregation Mezritch Synagogue at 415 E. Sixth Street.
Synagogue leaders have applied to add one story to the height of the structure, which is now part of the newish East Village/Lower East Side Historic District. (The proposed alteration is from the offices of Preservation Architect Joseph Pell Lombardi.)
There are flyers about the proposed restoration/addition posted nearby.
The proposal notes that the addition will be set back, and not visible to the public.
However, the plans don't get too specific about the interior portions of the building. (You can find a PDF of the plans here.) It appears the basement will contain space for a "community facility," with at least three or four residences taking up the remainder of the building. The plans also show the addition of an elevator.
Back in 2008, there were plans to demolish the Synagogue, which is just east of First Avenue. The plans, which called for a six-story condo, eventually fell through.
In 2010, more news surfaced about the historic building's deteriorating condition. Structure aside, the congregation dwindled to the point of not being able to attract minyan — the minimum of 10 men required by Jewish law — for some services. The hope was to add condos on top of the building to raise the money to upgrade the facilities. (Read The Villager's story on it from 2010 here.)
As the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) has noted, "the landmark designation does not cover the interior of the building (few landmark designations cover building interiors, and religious edifices by law can never be interior landmarks). Landmark designation also does not control or regulate how a building is used."
After Wednesday's meeting, the application will be heard at the Landmarks Preservation Commission's public hearing on March 19. No time has been set yet for this. GVSHP has much more background information on all this right here.