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DocuDrama: Preservationists Try to Save Row House From Becoming Another 35 Cooper

316 E. Third StreetStephen Rex Brown The rowhouse at 316 East Third Street.

Last week, preservationists doubled down on their last-minute effort to protect a 177-year-old row house that the owner hopes to demolish and replace with a seven-story, 33-unit apartment building.

A quartet of local preservation groups began pressing the city Landmarks Preservation Commission early this month. In a letter you can read below, the coalition cited the building’s historic qualities, which are reminiscent of 35 Cooper Square, another Federal-style row house that was demolished in May amid much controversy.

“The significance of this and the handful of other surviving pre-Civil War rowhouses to Alphabet City cannot be underestimated,” the preservationists wrote in a letter to the commission on August 2, referring to 316 East Third Street. “Built for merchants associated with the East River’s thriving shipbuilding industry, they recall the neighborhood’s formative years and are all that remain from its heyday as the dry dock neighborhood.”

The letter also noted that the commission had singled out the property as being “eligible for historic designation” in a 2008 study assessing the impact of rezoning in the area. Read more…

Against a Historic District: Don’t Landmark Religious Buildings

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…

The Day | Gavin DeGraw is on the Mend

cartLauren Carol Smith

Good morning, East Village.

The Associated Press tells us that Gavin DeGraw, who was attacked by at least two men in the East Village on Monday night, has been released after a night’s stay at Bellevue Hospital. A police source tells the Post that the singer was too drunk to remember the attack clearly, but his brother Joseph insists he was drinking nothing but cranberry juice.

If that incident isn’t keeping you away from the nightlife, the folks at DNA Info remind us that the first-ever AlphaBet City Dolly Film Festival starts tomorrow. Thirty independent films will be screened at bars and restaurants between Avenues A and C, from First Street to 14th Street.

Two new Bowery restaurants are coming along: Yesterday EV Grieve noticed that Veselka Bowery was readying its tables, and now Bowery Boogie notes that the Bowery Diner, from the owners of Peels, has put up some signage. Read more…