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EAST VILLAGE LOWER EAST SIDE HISTORIC DISTRICT - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


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EAST VILLAGE LOWER EAST SIDE HISTORIC DISTRICT

At Landmarks Hearing, Preservationists and Religious Leaders Clash


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EV Historic District Map of the proposed district.

Preservationists came out in force today to support a proposed historic district that would encompass a large chunk of the East Village, and ran into familiar anger from religious groups.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission held the public hearing to collect feedback on a proposed 330-building district that would be centered around Second Avenue south of St. Marks Place and regulate the facades of cultural icons like the La MaMa theater, the former Fillmore East building, and the Anthology Film Archives, among other storied buildings.

At the meeting, which was standing-room only for the first hour and a half, members of the commission listened to about 80 speakers express more support than opposition, with many sporting blue and yellow stickers reading “Preserve the East Village, Landmark Now!”  Read more…


Against a Historic District: Don’t Landmark Religious Buildings


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synagogue, East VillageMichelle Rick

Today on The Local, we’re hosting a dialogue about the neighborhood’s proposed historic districts. First, Britton Baine and Richard Moses, who serve on the steering committee of the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative, spoke out in favor of them. Now architect Ido Nissani argues that one of the districts would burden and disrespect the synagogue he attends. Add your own thoughts via the comments.

As an active member of the Meseritz Synagogue on East Sixth Street and a graduate of Cooper Union, the East Village has come to be part of my heart.

Recently, our house of worship has been included in a proposed historic district in the neighborhood. This has caused great concern among the congregation of the synagogue about the expenses associated with being a landmarked building, as well as the implication of ceding dominion of our building to a city agency.

For those who ask: “What guarantees do we have that the historic synagogue will still stand many years from now if it is not landmarked?” I respond: “What guarantees do we have to see these very buildings standing if they are landmarked?” Read more…


In Favor of a Historic District: It Preserves Local Character


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East 10th StreetMichael Natale East 10th Street

Today on The Local, we’re hosting a dialogue about the neighborhood’s proposed historic districts. First, below, Britton Baine and Richard Moses, who serve on the steering committee of the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative, speak out in favor of them. Later, architect Ido Nissani argues that one of the districts would burden and disrespect the synagogue he attends. Add your own thoughts via the comments.

This has been an exciting time for the East Village and its historic architecture. In June, the city Landmarks Preservation Commission calendared for public hearing two new historic districts: the proposed East Village-Lower East Side and East 10th Street districts. In July, after three contentious public hearings, Community Board 3 voted with a strong majority to support landmarking these districts.

The question now is, when will the LPC schedule the hearing date for their designation? For preservationists, sooner is much better than later, because until the LPC votes to landmark the districts, the buildings will not be completely safe from defacement or demolition.

Two questions preservationists have been hearing are, why landmark, and how will landmarking benefit the East Village? There are many reasons. Read more…


Foes of Historic District Plan Emerge


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Historic buildings of the EVDavid Jarrett The leaders of two local houses of worship have emerged as critics of the proposed historic district in the East Village.

Thus far, the proposed East Village historic district has been met with relatively little opposition — but that looks as if it is going to change.

The leaders of two local houses of worship have emerged as outspoken opponents of the proposed district in the neighborhood, which they say would lead to unnecessary expense and bureaucratic inconveniences.

Rabbi Pesach Ackerman of the Congregation Meseritz Syngg on Sixth Street and Father Christopher Calin of the Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection both bristled at the notion that they would have to get approval from the city Landmarks Preservation Commission before renovating the exteriors of their religious institutions.

“Once you’re landmarked, you’re not the owners of the building anymore,” said Mr. Ackerman, who has been the Rabbi of Meseritz Syngg for 42 years. “Anything you do, you have to ask their permission.”

Representatives from both institutions, along with those in favor of the district, are expected to speak on Thursday during a meeting of Community Board 3, which will be dedicated to the proposal.
Read more…