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Six More East Village Buildings That May Soon Be Declared Historic

Yesterday the executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Andrew Berman, shared the history of six buildings that may soon be part of the proposed East Village-Lower East Side Historic District. Before this afternoon’s critical hearing, he’s delving into the history of six others.

68 East 7th StreetG.V.S.H.P. 68 East Seventh Street

68 East Seventh Street, built in 1835. This row house at 68 East Seventh Street was built speculatively in 1835 by Thomas E. Davis. Sometime in the 1850s or 1860s, the original Greek Revival façade was updated with Italianate details that include the triangular and segmental window pediments and the frieze located below the original cornice. In 1882, the house was sold to the Protestant Episcopal Church Society for Promoting Christianity Among the Jews, which occupied it until 1904, when the house became a Jewish religious school operated by the Machzikei Talmud Torah. It was then subsequently a synagogue. The house was returned to private residential use in 1960. Read more…

East 10th Landmarked, But Not Before Controversial Renovation Is Approved

buildingNoah Fecks East 10th Street. The second building from the right was approved for a rooftop addition only hours before the street was designated a landmark district.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a historic district on a block of East 10th Street along Tompkins Square Park today, though a controversial rooftop addition that led to the expedited hearing also got the go-ahead literally hours before the vote.

With the designation, the exteriors of the 26 buildings between Avenues A and B will essentially be preserved as-is. But at the meeting the executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Andrew Berman, revealed that developer Ben Shaoul’s plans for a rooftop addition to 315 East 10th Street had been approved by the Department of Buildings.

“It reflects poorly on Shaoul and the city agencies that they couldn’t get their act together,” said Mr. Berman. Read more…

Landmarking Push Doesn’t Bother Shaoul

buildingNoah Fecks East 10th Street. Ben Shaoul’s building is one over from right.

The developer that spurred the Landmarks Preservation Commission to expedite a public hearing for a proposed historic district on East 10th Street said today that the designation would not affect his plans for a building on the block along Tompkins Square Park.

“It doesn’t make a difference if it’s landmarked or not — we’re going to comply with whatever is set forth by the governing parties,” said Ben Shaoul, who recently bought the building at 315 East 10th Street. “We intend to fully restore the façade to its original state, anyway.”

It was Mr. Shaoul’s application with the Department of Buildings to build a rooftop addition to the property that garnered the attention of the Commission, which is considering protecting the exteriors of the 26 buildings on the north side of Tompkins Square Park. By law, the Commission can fast-track the landmarks process if proposed renovations to a property would affect the historic aesthetic of a district up for consideration. Read more…

Two Historic Districts Approved

Community Board 3 tonight approved the creation of two historic districts in the East Village, paving the way for official consideration by the city. The proposal was divided into two separate motions with a 23 to 9 vote in favor of the Second Avenue district and unanimous support for the Tenth Street district. Preservationists reiterated that the measures were the only way to protect the neighborhood from what they consider excessive development while opponents from the religious community, some of whom walked out of the meeting in protest, countered that they could not bear the financial burden of renovations under the landmarking requirements.
Laura E. Lee and Stephen Rex Brown

Moves to Protect the East Village

Community SynagogueGrace MaaloufThe Community Synagogue on East 6th Street is one of the significant buildings to be included in the proposed new historic district.

As gentrification continues to alter the East Village landscape, attempts are afoot to have sections of the neighborhood designated a historic district, helping to preserve their architecture and character.

Following extensive surveying and examining the neighborhood, The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission recommended at an April 26 meeting that two areas of the East Village be designated historic districts. This is a preliminary step in the process, with a follow-up public presentation and hearing before the Landmarks Subcommittee of Community Board 3 on Thursday this week.

The two areas slated to constitute this historic district include approximately 300 buildings. One section is the north side of East 10th Street between Avenues A and B, opposite the northern boundary of Tompkins Square Park. This block includes a mix of stately 19th century brownstones along with tenement buildings.

The second area is from East 2nd Street to East 7th Streets, between the Bowery and Avenue A. Read more…

Permits Issued to Developer

IMG_0460Spencer Magloff Preservationists had sought landmark designations for these two buildings at 326 and 328 East Fourth Street.

On the same day that two preservation groups held a news conference urging the Landmarks Preservation Commission to reconsider refusing to designate a pair of 170-year old buildings at 326 and 328 East Fourth Street as historic landmarks, the Department of Buildings awarded permits for both buildings to developer Terrence Lowenberg.

“This is truly outrageous,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, who learned from The Local that the permits had been issued.

“It’s tragic that the Landmarks Preservation Commission sat on their hands for more than three months and allowed this to happen,” said Mr. Berman, whose group led the landmark designation effort. “A wonderful piece of the city’s history will likely be destroyed due to the city’s inaction.”
Read more…

Conversation | On Landmarks

7th St Church 1Sarah Tung

Just before the weekend, we posted a story about the debate over granting a landmark designation to a Russian Orthodox church on Second Street.

The piece was also referenced on, a blog focused on land use issues.

And here at The Local, one reader, Isaac Bass, noted that the landmark dispute is “an issue that wasn’t black and white and had many facets. It left me pondering the merits of both sides of the argument and how it may be resolved in a so-called win-win way.”

We’d like to hear your thoughts about landmark designations and if you think there are any solutions that could be, as Mr. Bass noted, win-win.

A Landmark Debate

The Landmarks Preservation Commission recently announced that it has issued a landmark designation for Eleventh Street Methodist Episcopal Chapel on 11th Street between Avenues A and B. Still unresolved is the status of a proposal to extend a similar designation to the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection on Second Street near Second Avenue, a move so far opposed by church officials. NYU Journalism’s Gabriella Bass and Amir Shoucri report on the debate over the merits of “landmarking.”