NEW YORK CITY LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISSION Robert B. Tierney Chairman FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, October 9, 2012 No. 12-10 EAST VILLAGE/LOWER EAST SIDE HISTORIC DISTRICT APPROVED Area Encompassing 330 Row Houses, Tenements, Houses of Worship, Theaters and Other Institutional Buildings Along and Off Second Avenue between East 2nd and East 7th Streets Represent Nearly 200 Years of New York City History The Landmarks Preservation Commission today approved the designation of the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District, capping a two-year effort spearheaded by LPC to protect more than 330 architecturally and historically significant buildings that are synonymous with the American immigrant experience. The district runs from East 2nd to East 7th streets along and off Second Avenue, in an area that was once part of Peter Stuyvesant’s estate. Development started in the 1830s, with the construction of elegant Greek Revival row houses for the city’s elite, and took off in the mid-19th century as handsome tenements, houses of worship and other institutions were erected for German immigrants who flocked to the neighborhood and later inhabited by many other immigrant groups, including Eastern Europeans, and Latinos. The district assumed a new identity in the mid-20th century, drawing a vibrant mix of artists, musicians and community activists and has since been known as the East Village. “Each wave of immigrants that settled in the district gave rise to the richly layered built environment that remains today,” said Commission Chairman Robert B. Tierney. “It’s an incredibly intact collection, developed over the course of nearly 200 years, of row houses, tenements, houses of worship, theaters that tell a complete story of one of New York City’s most renowned neighborhoods.” Wealthy New Yorkers who had lived in Manhattan’s southern tip moved to the area in the 1830s and made it the city’s toniest residential district. With these new arrivals came numerous single-family mansions and row houses, such as those at 30 to 38 East 3rd Street. Completed in 1836, the buildings retain their original Flemish bond brickwork and Greek Revival-style detailing. One of the district’s most evocative blocks is East 4th Street between the Bowery and Second Avenue, which was designated by the City as the a cultural district because of the high concentration of theaters there. The south side includes Nos. 64 to 68 (at right), which comprised the centerpiece of a residential development known as Albion Place, a handsome terrace of 12 uniformly designed, 3 ½-story houses that were completed in 1833. Nos. 66 and 68 were combined and raised to four stories in 1871 as part of a conversion by the New York Turn Verein, a German gymnastics organization. In 1882, the Turn Verein hosted the first Yiddish-language theatrical production ever staged in the United States. It has been an annex of the La Mama Experimental Theatre Club since the 1970s. Tenement construction and the conversion of single-family homes into multiple-family dwellings began in the 1850s as the wealthy left and large number of immigrants moved in, most of them German. These buildings, known as “pre-law” tenements because they predated the Tenement House Act of 1879, were designed in a simplified version of the Italianate style that had become the dominant mode of architecture in New York City. Examples can be found at 433 to 441 East 6th Street, a c. 1861 row of five uniform structures owned by the heirs of the John Jacob Astor fortune and at 310 to 338 East 6th Street (at left), a c. 1864 row of 15 tenements owned by the heirs of Stephen Whitney. Other immigrant groups began to settle in the neighborhood in the 1890s, many of them Yiddish- speaking Jews from Eastern Europe, who transformed the area into a thriving entertainment district that was known as the Yiddish Rialto, and included the Public Theater and the Lowe’s Commodore movie palace at 66 and 105 Second Avenue, respectively. One of the most impressive reminders of this community is the Neo Classical style, c. 1910 Congregation Adas Yisroel Anshe Mezeritz synagogue at 415 East 6th Street (at right), designed by German architect Herman Horenburger. Immigrants from Poland and Hungary also left conspicuous marks on the neighborhood with buildings like the limestone, c. 1901 Saint Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Roman Catholic Church, at 107 East 7th Street by architect Arthur Arctander and the “naturestone” c. 1904, altered Gothic Revival style First Hungarian Reformed Church (now St. Mary’s American Orthodox Greek Catholic Church) at 121 East 7th Street by architect Frederick Ebeling. Tenement construction continued in the last decades of the 19th century and into the beginning of the 20th century. The buildings were more flamboyant than their predecessors, as the Queen Anne, Romanesque Revival and Renaissance Revival styles came into fashion, and facades typically featured richly molded terra-cotta detailing, textured brickwork, densely layered beltcourses, projecting piers, and boldly massed cornices. Examples include the rows at 95 to 99 East 7th Street (at left) and 65 to 75 East 4th Street. Intense construction ended in the early 1930s because of the Great Depression, and most of the structures haven’t changed since then. But the demographics of the neighborhood changed dramatically in the 1950s, when Latin American immigrants, mostly from Puerto Rico, and artists and bohemians priced out of Greenwich Village moved there. The neighborhood survived plans for urban renewal the 1950s and 1960s, as well as the economic downturn of the 1970s, to become the center of the 1980s downtown art and music scene. The Fillmore East, run by the noted rock concert promoter Bill Graham, opened in the former Commodore Theatre at 105 Second Avenue (see photo at left) in 1968, and later became the Saint, a private dance club. The former Yiddish Public Theatre at 66 Second Avenue, served for a short time as CBGB’s Second Avenue Theater beginning in 1977, and hosted such bands and performers as the Talking Heads and Patti Smith. And a former meeting hall at 101 Avenue A has been the home of the Pyramid Club since 1979, providing a venue for drag performances, benefit concerts for AIDS victims and acts like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana. *** The Landmarks Preservation Commission is the mayoral agency responsible for protecting and preserving New York City’s architecturally, historically and culturally significant buildings and sites. Since its creation in 1965, LPC has granted landmark status to more than 30,000 buildings and sites, including 1,318 individual landmarks, 114 interior landmarks, 10 scenic landmarks, 109 historic districts and 18 historic district extensions in all five boroughs. Under the City’s landmarks law, considered among the most powerful in the nation, the Commission must be comprised of at least three architects, a historian, a realtor, a planner or landscape architect, as well as a representative of each borough. Contact: Elisabeth de Bourbon/ 212-669-7938 To find out more, click here.
As of yesterday afternoon, the Riverside-West End Historic District Extension I is the Upper West Side's newest official Historic District!
With our colleagues at the West End Preservation Society, New York Landmarks Conservancy, Historic Districts Council, and a league of West Side neighborhood associations -- not to mention stalwart West Side Council Member Gale Brewer and her staff! -- LANDMARK WEST! has helped to guide this critical issue forward. Following public hearings of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the City Planning Commission, the City Council Subcommittee on Landmarks, and the City Council's Land Use Committee (unanimous support at each of these important votes!), it all came down to the full 51-member City Council. By a vote of 48 to 0, the City Council upheld the unanimous decision of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to preserve one of New York's most remarkable ensembles of historic structures in the City. Congratulations to all who dedicated their time and energy to this important neighborhood issue!
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM — RSVP At the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place [Directions]
|The next stop on your Queens-bound local F train is not just the West 4th Street station and Greenwich Village, but also Design by New York, the AIA New York Chapter's annual member showcase in the subway. It's the AIA by way of the ABCDEF and M. On October 10, on walls usually lined by Nike and Red Bull ad campaigns will be architecture, and lots of it. 86 projects in 39 countries will illustrate the diversity of buildings, cities, and everything in between being designed by New York-based architects here in the city, around the country, and all over the world. Join us for the exhibition reception for Design by New York, on view in the West 4th Street subway station October 10 to November 4, 2012. Visit the show as you arrive at West 4th Street, then come to the Center for refreshments. Price: Free RSVP A program of Archtober, Architecture and Design Month New York City, October 2012.|
Property was home to gay-rights pioneers and, later, to a Beastie Boy October 09, 2012 02:00PM
From left: 186 Spring Street and Robert Tierney of the LPC In the week since demolition began at 186 Spring Street — the townhouse purchased by Canadian developer Nordica from Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz to build a seven-story condominium — allegations of homophobia are emerging over the redevelopment of the gay-rights landmark, the New York Observer reported. In the 1970s and 1980s, the property housed prominent gay-rights activists, such as Bruce Voeller, Arnie Kantrowitz and Jim Owles. The Landmarks Preservation Commission denied the pleas of preservationists to landmark the property and keep it from redevelopment.
Allen Roskoff, who was Jim Owles’ partner for many years, told the Observer, “What they did was homophobic … not only do I consider it an act against the movement, I consider it an act against me personally.” But the LPC counters that over the years it has landmarked other gay-rights landmarks as they are part of larger historic districts, such as the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village Historic District. The LPC has never approved applications to landmark individual properties within existing historic districts. In addition, the LPC argued, the influence of 186 Spring Street’s on the movement was not central, but peripheral.
East Village–Lower East Side Historic District approved by Landmarks
October 09, 2012 03:30PM
From left: 59 East 2nd Street and 32 Second Avenue (buildings credit: PropertyShark)
The Landmarks Preservation Commission today approved slightly modified version of the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District, according to a press release issued by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. The territory covers 330 buildings across 15 blocks bounded by Avenue A and the Bowery and St. Mark’s Place and 2nd Street. According to the release, the historic district was expanded to include structures such as the Russian Orthodox Cathedral at 59 East 2nd Street and the Magistrate’s Court at 32 Second Avenue, which now operates as the Anthology Film Archives. As Crain’s reported earlier today, other structures in the district include the firmer Fillmore East concert venue and the German Evangelical Lutheran Church. The landmarking came as an effort made by preservation groups to preserve the character of the East Village. The decision comes as NYU will expand its campus just west of the district. — Zachary Kussin
October 9, 2012 1:38 p.m.
Andrew Berman, director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, cheered the creation of a new historic district Tuesday.
Updated: October 9, 2012 4:22 p.m.
The Landmarks Commission voted Tuesday to designate a new historic district comprising 330 buildings in the Lower East Side and the East Village. The decision comes as New York University, just to the west of the new historic district, looks to expand its footprint in the area. In fact, led by NYU, development in the neighborhood has picked up. The school recently won City Council approval to build a host of new buildings and dormitories south and west of Washington Square Park. Preservationists say the new district will help slow a possible eastward expansion by the university. Most of the buildings in the district will be along Second Avenue and the adjacent side streets, between East Second and East Seventh streets. The district will include gems like the former Fillmore East concert space on Second Avenue and East Sixth Street; the neighborhood's last surviving tenement synagogue; the German Evangelical Lutheran Church; and St. Stanislaus, a Russian Orthodox church. Second Avenue was once the focus of the area's vibrant Jewish community and was known as the "Yiddish Rialto" for the number of Yiddish-language theaters along its lower lengths. Preservationists say the district will also go a long way toward helping protect many of the mid-19th century row houses and other buildings in the neighborhood.
"There's just an incredible range of buildings and sites that have this wonderfully rich connection to the East Village's history, first as an immigrant destination, and then as a mecca for artists and musicians in the latter half of the 20th century," said Andrew Berman, director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. The vote is not a direct response to NYU's expansion but will help preserve buildings that could have been targeted for future development, Mr. Berman said. "NYU is just one small piece of the puzzle," he said. "As huge as they are, they've just sort of nibbled at the edges of this area." Phillip Lentz, a spokesman for the university, said the commission’s vote would have no impact on their expansion plans. “The foundation of the NYU 2031 expansion plan is that the university intends to provide for its future growth primarily by building on its own property, which is what the recent ULURP action approved by the City Council permits,” Mr. Lentz said. “We made this decision in order to minimize the impact on our neighbors and because much of the property in our community is already protected against future development.”
When: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10
Where: At The Center
Join us for the exhibition reception for Design by New York, the AIA New York Chapter's annual members show, on view in the West 4th Street subway station October 8 to November 4, 2012. Visit the show as you arrive at West 4th Street, then come to the Center for refreshments.
Location: Center for Architecture, Hines Gallery Exhibition is organized by the AIA New York Chapter. On view in the West 4th Street subway station October 8 to November 4, 2012. A program of Archtober, Architecture and Design Month New York City, October 2012.
|Dear Friend, I want to share with you the wonderful news that the proposed East Village Historic District was just approved with slight modifications by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, taking immediate effect! Three hundred thirty 19th and early 20th century buildings between the Bowery and Avenue A, St. Mark's Place and 2nd Street, now enjoy landmark protections -- view map of original district HERE and images of some of the buildings HERE. This is a very significant advance over the two small historic districts and several individual landmarkswhich were the previous extent of landmark protections in the East Village. I want to thank the elected officials, community and preservation groups, and the hundreds of people who wrote and testified in favor of these designations - today's victory would not have been possible without you! I also want to thank everyone who supported the efforts by GVSHP and our fellow community and preservation groups in getting the City to expand the proposed historic district last year.
The new East Village Historic District includes many key sites which GVSHP and our allies have fought to landmark and preserve: Congregation Mezritch Synagogue at 415 East 6th Street, the East Village's last remaining tenement synagogue, which came very close to demolition in 2008; the Russian Orthodox Cathedral at 59 East 2nd Street, for which plans had been filed to build a condo-tower above; Community Synagogue at 323 East 6th Street, built in 1847 as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Matthew, from which many of the General Slocum Disaster victims came; and 101 Avenue A, an elaborately-detailed late 19th century tenement with a ground-floor gathering space that was the site of labor rallies in the 19th century and the groundbreaking Pyramid Club in the late 20th century. Thanks also go to the Preservation League of NY State and the NY State Council on the Arts. In 2008, they awarded GVSHP a grant to assist with our research on the history of every building in the East Village. That research was key in our advocacy for expanding and securing today's East Village Historic District, and the research was used by the Landmarks Preservation Commission itself in their documentation of the area. Today's landmark designation follows the rezoning of almost the entire East Village in 2008 and 2010, an effort spearheaded by community groups including GVSHP, the Community Board and Councilmember Mendez. The rezonings have helped tremendously to prevent out-of-scale high-rise development, especially ofdorms and hotels, and to encourage preservation of existing buildings. Read more in GVSHP's report Keeping In Character: A Look at the Impacts of Recent Community-Initiated Rezonings in the East Village. Landmark designation will go a long way towards ensuring that historic buildings are preserved, while allowing necessary changes and reasonable in-character additions and new development. Tax breaks are available for restoration work on privately-owned historic buildings and grants and loans for non-profits and religious institutions, which GVSHP can assist in seeking.
The landmarks law's hardship provision ensures that owners who cannot afford to maintain their building, and non-profits that find landmarks requirements financially prohibitive or interferes with fulfillment of their mission, are not forced to abide by any requirements which they cannot fulfill. However, because private and non-profit owners generally thrive under landmark designation, this provision is rarely necessary or used. While today's vote is significant progress, the effort to preserve the East Village is far from over. Today's designation covers only a fraction of the neighborhood, as the Landmarks Preservation Commission only considered buildings within the southwestern quadrant of the neighborhood, south of St. Mark's Place and west of Avenue A. GVSHP will be working with fellow community and preservation groups, local elected officials, and the Community Board to advocate for expanded landmark protections throughout the East Village. Thank you for your help and support in making today's designation possible! To learn more about East Village preservation efforts, click HERE, and to support this or other work of GVSHP, click HERE.
The exhibition opened last Saturday, October 1st in the West 4th Street Subway Station and it looks great! The exhibition includes all of the over 200 entries and will be on view for the month of October. There will also be a reception on October 19th—more details to come shortly.
The American Institute of Architects New York Chapter presents New York New Work. The AIA New York Chapter (AIANY), founded in 1857, is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The Chapter's members include over 4,500 practicing architects, allied professionals, students, and public members interested in architecture and design. The AIA New York Chapter is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach, and professional development. New York New York presents the scope and quality of work being done by AIA New York Chapter members across the globe. The projects lining these ramps are large and small, public and private, commercial and residential, interiors and facades, architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, restoration and urban design.
New York New Work is presented as part of Archtober, the inagural month-long festival of architecture activities, programs and exhibitions in New York City. www.archtober.org
Building on the success of our past subway exhibitions, the AIA New York Chapter / Center for Architecture will open New York New Work in October of 2011 at the West 4th Street subway station.
In an effort to show the range of design ideas generated by AIA New York Chapter members during our economic down-turn, this year’s call includes un-built competition entries, theoretical projects and design research, in addition to commissioned projects around the world by Chapter members. New York New Work solicits works of all scales and types – small, large, commercial, residential, public, private, interiors, historic preservation, engineering, landscape and urban design – presenting the scope and quality of work being done by AIA New York Chapter members across the globe.
This highly visible exhibition will offer a snapshot of current practice and celebrate the diversity of the Chapter’s membership. AIA New York Chapter members are invited to participate by submitting up to four (4) projects for display in the subway station for the month of October. In addition to the work exhibited in the subway station, all entrants will be included in an online gallery on the Chapter's website (with links to their websites). New York New Work will be promoted as part of Archtober, a month-long festival of architectural activities, programs, and exhibitions in New York City, organized by the Center for Architecture in collaboration with other institutions, including the Cooper-Hewitt, Design Trust for Public Space, openhousenewyork and many others.