The REBNY attack is the shot across the bow for what's to come in the Grand Central / Fifth Avenue area.
The small mayor is very big with this.
The REBNY attack is the shot across the bow for what's to come in the Grand Central / Fifth Avenue area.
It seems hard to believe this absurd attack will succeed. Most New Yorkers want more, not less, landmarks, and this campaign against landmarks (claiming that half of them are empty surface lots or hideous Modernist crap ... exactly the stuff these developers want to build on top of our landmarks!) oozes with so much disingenuous slime that I can't see a single person outside of the Moinian family being won over by it.
I'm also guessing that the next mayor may (hopefully) be less likely to support this rape of the city than Bloomberg is. For a guy who likes his townhouses to be historic buildings in the historic centers of New York and London, there seems to be some cognitive disconnect with the way he simultaneously wants developers to be able to trash all such districts.
It will also be interesting to see if this aspect -- friendliness with big developers and willingness to rezone in their favor / potentially eviscerate historic districts (if Bloomberg really does support this abominable campaign) -- comes up in the next election. I would think a potentially successful populist message would be one of backlash against big developments in neighborhoods htat traditionally have not had them. ... In short, the Landmarks law probably needs to survive 1.5 years till Bloomberg's out of office, and then to the extent it becomes an election issue at all, any further politicking would probably play in its favor.
Greedy developers in NY will always tear down great old buildings unless everything is landmarked. I'd like to see all pre-war structures landmarked, and the owners could be compensated by letting them transfer all air rights associated with their land anywhere in Manhattan.
At some point in time many such building become 'functionally obsolete' and no amount of money or maintenance will stop the deterioration.
Oh, but wait, you have a solution: landmark the building. Once landmarked time will stand still, matter will no longer degrade, and these "great old buildings" will live on for ever.
You are a fool mate, but let's keep the banter going, there is nothing I enjoy better than arguing with a lawyer. HeHe
And, don't get me started on other design issues such as: small and awkward floor plans, dark interiors due to small/deep set windows - I could go on, but why bother.
It's not the fact that they tear down the buildings; that's bad, but it's progress. It's more along the lines of what they put on the plot of land that verifies if it was a good or bad demolition. If I lived in one of these buildings only to have it torn down for another glass box, I think I would want a say on what goes up on the plot.
If they were to demolish the building, but put a more advanced yet equally classic structure there, then the argument ceases to exist. It's not that hard to recreate these buildings with some sort of efficiency in mind, and the materials are out there to do it.
A new twist in this NoHo proposal ...
June 7, 2012
Merchant’s House Museum advocates are redoubling their opposition to a proposed nine-story hotel next door to the E. Fourth St. landmark after learning that two representatives of the hotel project pleaded guilty and served time in separate federal criminal cases several years ago.
The two men, who represented the hotel development team at Community Board 2 Landmarks Committee hearings in May, are Edward Carroll and Constantine Fotos.
Carroll pleaded guilty to obstructing justice and misleading a grand jury in 2002 during a federal corruption case against a business associate involved in elevator contracts for the M.T.A. headquarters building at 2 Broadway.
Carroll served five months in prison, plus two years of supervised release and five months home confinement. As a result of the conviction, Carroll surrendered his architect’s license in 2010.
Fotos pleaded guilty in 2005 to illegally removing asbestos while managing a construction project for Phillips International at 13-25 Astor Place. He also pleaded guilty to misleading a federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation into the incident and served one year in prison and two years supervised release.
Friends of the 1832 Merchant’s House say the four-story building at 29 E. Fourth St. is too fragile to stand a nine-story building being built adjacent to it and sharing a party wall.
“We’re making every effort to convince the Landmarks Preservation Commission to consider everything and disapprove the hotel,” said Pi Gardener, executive director of the museum. Gardener said she thought nothing should be built at the proposed hotel site at 27 E. Fourth St. that is taller than the landmark. A two-story garage is currently on the site.
Alexandr Neratoff, an architect who spoke for residents of the nine-story condo at 25 E. Fourth St., said last week, “Given their prior convictions, Fotos and Carroll do not inspire confidence in their ability to develop 27 E. Fourth St. in a safe and judicious way without harming the Merchant’s House Museum. A proposal managed by this duo should never be approved by Landmarks.”
This reporter contacted Gary Spindler, owner of the proposed hotel site and a development partner, who responded in a letter, “Mr. Carroll and Mr. Fotos are valued members of our team who have made some mistakes in the past.”
Spindler said the design team is headed by SRA Architects, in which Carroll is an associate principal, and in which Adrian R. Figueroa, a registered architect, is a principal and the applicant of record for the L.P.C. hotel filing. Fotos assembled the design team and “brings many years of experience to his work,” Spindler added.
“We have engaged additional members of our team, including Steven Lin, geotechnical engineer; Phillip Murray, historical structural engineer; and Gabe Richardson, of Safety Dynamics, a Department of Buildings-approved safety consultant,” Spindler said.
“We have engaged licensed professionals of the highest caliber to respect the integrity of the Merchant’s House Museum,” he continued. “Unfortunately, our neighbor to the west [25 E. Fourth St.], who will lose some lot-line windows, seems unwilling to accept the changing nature of New York streetscapes and has seen fit to taint our project through guilt by association. We welcome this opportunity to allay his fears and wonder whether it is newsworthy.”
A Landmarks hearing on the project, which had been scheduled for June 5, was laid over until Tues., June 19. The L.P.C. does not enquire into the criminal record of applicants. In addition to L.P.C. approval, the hotel project would also require a zoning variance from the Board of Standards and Appeals, a process that could take a year or longer.
The Community Board 2 Landmarks Committee held a hearing on the project on April 30 at which Fotos and Carroll made a presentation and nobody appeared in opposition. The committee voted approval, but a day or two later, preservation advocates, along with Gardener and Nick Nicholson, chairperson of The Merchant’s House Museum board of trustees, protested they hadn’t known about the meeting.
The committee held another meeting on May 14 at which Nicholson and representatives of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, the Historic Districts Council and the 25 E. Fourth St. co-op opposed the hotel.
Fotos told the committee that he had several conversations with Gardener about the hotel project. But Gardener, who was at the May 14 meeting, said she had only heard of the project about 10 days earlier, shortly after the April 30 committee meeting.
“It’s possible that he might have called me a few years ago but I don’t have any recollection of it,” Gardener said on June 6.
After the May 14 hearing, the Landmarks Committee reversed its previous vote and recommended that any new building at 27 E. Fourth St. be no taller than the Merchant’s House.
Sean Sweeney, co-chairperson of the committee, said on June 6 that he also had learned about the federal convictions of Fotos and Carroll.
“If they lied to a grand jury or to federal investigators, do you think they’d tell the truth to a Community Board 2 committee?” he asked.
The Merchant’s House, where three generations of the Seabury-Tredwell family lived, was originally among row houses on the north side of E. Fourth St. west of Bowery. But houses on both sides of 29 E. Fourth St. were demolished leaving the building extremely vulnerable.
The Historic House Trust, organized in 1989 to help the city Parks Department maintain historic buildings, most of which are within parks, owns the Merchant’s House, which has been designated an exterior and interior landmark.
3 Firehouses Among 6 Buildings Now Designated City Landmarks
By ERIC P. NEWCOMER
N.Y.C. Landmarks Preservation Commission
Engine Company/Squad 41 in the Bronx
[The Hotel Mansfield (R) and Yorkville Bank (L)
Each has a distinct architectural style. One, a narrow three-story building with a bold red door, features a recessed stone eagle overlooking an ashlar limestone entrance. The second, completed in neo-Classical style, is one of the first of its kind in the city to feature two truck-size doors instead of just one. The third, a churchlike Neo-Medieval brick fortress, has steep gables and a hose-drying tower.
All three are gracefully aging firehouses, and none are going anywhere; they were designated historical landmarks on Tuesday by the city Landmarks Preservation Commission. They are Engine Company/Squad 41 on East 150th Street in South Melrose in the Bronx; Engine Company 85/Hook and Ladder Company 29 on East 138th Street in Mott Haven in the Bronx; and Engine Company 304 / Hook and Ladder Company 151 on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills.
The commission also granted landmark status two hotels and a bank in Manhattan on Tuesday. The six new landmarks were all erected within a few decades after New York City’s five boroughs consolidated in 1898.
“All of these buildings illustrate how far New York City had come by the start of the 20th century and signaled the promising direction in which it was headed,” the commission’s chairman, Robert B. Tierney, said in a statement, adding that the city’s historic firehouses are among its “finest expressions of civic character.”
The hotels are the 12-story King & Grove Hotel at 30 East 30th Street, completed in 1903 in Renaissance Revival style and originally known as the Women’s Hotel, and the Mansfield Hotel, originally the Hotel Mansfield, a Beaux-Arts building at 12 West 44th Street.
The newly recognized bank building is Yorkville Bank on 1511 Third Avenue at 85th Street, an Italian Renaissance-Revival corner building in granite, limestone and brick.
Part of the Riverside-West End Historic District Wins Approval
by Jessica Dailey
Chalk one up for the preservationists: a chunk of the long-sought Riverside-West End Historic District won approval this morning. The mega-district is split into three sections, spanning 70th to 109th Street, and the section approved today covers between 79th and 87th Streets from Riverside Drive to Broadway. The West End Preservation Society has been fighting for the full district, which stitches together five smaller districts, for several years, but the proposal has faced a lot of criticism, with opponents saying it would turn the area into a "mausoleum." Public hearings have been held for the other two sections, but the LPC has yet to determine when they will be voted on.
[The newly approved extension of the Riverside-West End Historic District]
The LPC also approved a new historic district on Park Place in Crown Heights, preserving 13 Romanesque-style rowhouses built in 1894. This district is also part of a larger proposal, the Crow Hill Historic District. This afternoon, the Commission is holding a hearing for the proposed East Village-Lower East Side Historic District, which runs along Second Avenue from East 2nd Street to East 7th Street and includes adjacent side streets, for a total 330 buildings.
West End Avenue-Riverside Historic District Wins Approval [West Side Rag]
Take a tour up the visually coherent West End Ave stretching north from W70th St. But first, turn around and see what's behind.
West end Ave & w70th St
The cross-streets are a delight. Check out the Red House, brick and terra-cotta apartment house built in 1904, W85th St toward Riverside.
That's a lovely stretch -- classic New York. Except for that hideous giant TV set-looking school. Does this mean that can never be torn down? Too bad.
There are signage regulations in New York City, but it seems the DOB hardly ever enforces them.
The only two agencies that control signage are the Design Commission (formerly Arts Commission), which has jurisdiction over city owned property, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Recently, Duane Reade opened a store in about half of the ground floor of the 1997 landmarked American Surety Building at 100 Broadway. A Borders bookstore previously occupied the entire ground floor.
A few months ago, Duane Reade made a presentation to the LPC, requesting approval of signage. They were told to scale it back - one change was that the original proposal had a sign in every bay between the columns.
I think the new Duane Reade b&w logo fits very well with the massive stone building. Yeah, it's a drug store replacing a bookstore, but I never liked the boarders awnings, which disrupted the colonnade. It's still there in Google street view.
The buildings carvings retain their crisp appearance because the cladding is all granite.
Last edited by ZippyTheChimp; July 14th, 2012 at 08:03 PM.
Photos: Inside Coney Island's Decrepit Movie Palace
Looking down from the balcony.
The foyer is still stunning.
The seats in the orchestra were removed to make way for a bingo hall at the end of the theater's active life.
Looking up the balcony.
Part of the original plans.
Two years ago the Shore Theater in Coney Island (formally the Loew's Coney Island) was declared an historic landmark. Well, its exterior was. The inside of the former vaudeville and movie palace was left to fend to itself, as it has been doing since the 1970s. Despite the theater's dominating presence in Coney Island's amusement area, the interior has been pretty much lost to the public. Until now.
Photographer Matt Lambros of After The Final Curtain recently got into the theater and has just posted his pictures online: the Renaissance revival space is, like so many old theaters, truly stunning even in its decrepitude. The architects at Reilly & Hall knew what they were doing when they designed the space in the 1920s (the theater opened June 17, 1925 and after many iterations closed for good in March of 1973).
Over the years a number of efforts have been made to save the theater, but beyond the exterior's landmark status little has been done. And considering the state of the inside that kind of makes sense. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. Still, wouldn't it be lovely if the 2,387-seat space could be brought back into the fold? As far as we can tell the building is still owned by Kansas Fried Chicken founder Horace Bullard, though we've had trouble getting in touch with him to find out what plans, if any, he has for the space.
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