St. John the Divine Cathedral. Image Credit: LPC.
Unfinished cathedral, the largest in the world, designated a landmark for second time. On February 21, 2017, Landmarks commissioners voted to designate the St. John the Divine Cathedral and Close an individual City landmark. The cathedral, the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, is the largest church in the United States, and the largest cathedral in the world. It stands at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights neighborhood.
The Landmarks Commission first held a hearing on the potential designation of the cathedral in 1966, and ultimately voted to designate the cathedral a City landmark in 2003. The designation was overturned by the City Council because it was limited to the cathedral’s footprint, and would allow for the development of the rest of the campus.
The Commission again added the cathedral to its calendar on July 19, 2016. This potential designation included six historic auxiliary buildings comprising the cathedral close. (read more…)
Bowne Street Community Church. Image Credit: LPC.
Landmarking of Bowne Street Community Church, originally the Protestant Reformed Dutch Church of Flushing, opposed by church representatives at second hearing due to misidentification of landmarked lot. On November 15, 2016, the Landmarks Preservation Commission held a second hearing on the Bowne Street Community Church at 143-11 Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing, Queens. The church was added to Landmarks calendar in 2003, and first heard as part of the Commission’s Backlog Initiative in October 2015. At the backlog hearing, the map incorrectly showed the entire tax lot, including a parking lot and annex was calendared, while only the church portion of the lot had been calendared in 2003. Because there had been no previous public hearing, Landmarks brought the correctly identified lot back for public testimony. (read more…)
Artist Rendering of 34 West 21st Street. Image Credit: LPC.
Majority of commissioners believe that vertically arranged limestone-faced building integrated well into the streetscape. At its meeting on November 1, 2016, the Landmarks Preservation Commission considered and approved a proposal to construct a new six-story plus penthouse building at 34 West 21st Street in the Ladies’ Mile Historic District. The building will be used as a one-family dwelling. Landmarks approved a proposal for a similarly sized building at the site in 2007, but the project was never realized. Before previously approved construction stalled, a 1950s garage at the lot was demolished. The site is now a vacant lot. (read more…)
Rendering of the interior of the Museum. Image Credit: LPC.
Approved addition, occupying a quarter acre of parkland, will increase connections for better museum circulation, provide additional space to store collection materials, and allow visitors to watch scientists at work. At its meeting on October 11, 2016, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to issue a binding report for the construction of an addition, and associated demolition, to the American Museum of Natural History, an individual landmark on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The addition, to be named the Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation, will be the first significant intervention on the museum campus since the completion of the Rose Center for Earth and Space in 2000. The addition would be sited on the western side of the museum, and would create new Columbus Avenue public entrance. (read more…)
9 DeKalb Avenue. Project Rendering. Image Credit: JDS Development and the Chetrit Group.
Designated bank lobby will be converted to retail space, while new tower will accommodate residential use. On April 19, 2016, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to approve work impacting the individually designated Dime Savings Bank, as well as its lobby, an interior Landmark. The site lies at 9 Dekalb Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn, on an irregularly shaped block bounded by Dekalb and Flatbush Avenues and Fulton Street. The proposed tower will displace the Williamsburgh Savings Bank as the borough’s tallest building. The work entails the demolition of a portion of the 1930s addition, the creation of a new entrance on Flatbush Avenue, and alterations to the lobby to adapt it to retail use. The new tower will be partially sited within the landmarked lot. The plan includes extensive restoration work to the bank building. (read more…)
The Thomas-Lamb designed Loew’s 175th Street Theater in Washington Heights was prioritized for designation. Image credit: LPC
Some items will be removed from calendar due to political reality that designations will not be ratified by Council; others are found to be adequately protected so as to not require prioritization; others to lack significance that would merit immediate designation. On February 23, 2016, Landmarks made determinations on the disposition of 95 items added to Landmarks’ calendar before 2010, but never subjected to a vote on designation. In 2015 the commission had announced an initiative to clear the calendar of the backlogged items. Landmarks held a series of public hearings to give the public an opportunity to testify on the items, some of which had languished on Landmarks’ calendar for decades. At the meeting on February 23, 2016 commissioners voted to keep 30 items on the calendar for a vote on designation during 2016. The remaining 65 items will be decalendared. Landmarks’ determinations on all 95 items are listed in the associated chart.