[EVG file photo]
The Tifereth Israel Town & Village Synagogue at 334 E. 14th St. is scheduled for a vote before The Landmarks Preservation Commission on proposed landmark designation today at 9:45 a.m.
Here's background via a press advisory sent out yesterday by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP)...
The synagogue was first built in 1866 as the First German Baptist Church; in 1926 it became the Ukrainian Autocephalic Church of St. Volodymyr; and in 1962 it became the Town & Village Synagogue, reflecting the successive waves of immigration and ethnic change that have swept over the East Village.
Shortly after New York's landmarks law was adopted in 1965, Tifereth Israel was formally heard and considered for landmark designation, but never received a vote. However, it did remain officially "calendared" by the LPC, or formally under consideration for landmark designation, making it perhaps the longest time any building in New York has remained in "landmarks limbo."
At today's meeting (which the public can attend but at which it cannot speak), the LPC could vote to landmark the historic structure, vote not to landmark, vote to landmark part of the structure (a rear section of the synagogue was built somewhat later, which some have proposed excluding from landmark designation), or could defer again on voting.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission held a public hearing about the designation this past March 25.
During that hearing, synagogue members downplayed the importance of the building's architecture, as The East Villager reported.
"Synagogue members stressed that landmarking would raise costs just as a plan is underway to modify the structure to better serve community needs through a daycare center, disabled access and L.G.B.T.Q. services," according to The East Villager.
Updated 1:53 p.m.
The LPC voted to landmark the synagouge, with landmark designation taking immediate effect.
At today's vote, the Commission excluded from the landmark designation a rear structure which had originally been considered as part of the landmark designation. GVSHP and fellow preservation and East Village groups had called for landmark designation of the entire building, including the rear structure.
Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updated] East 14th St. synagogue on the market for conversion to residential, commercial use
48 years later, East 14th Street synagogue to be considered for landmark designation