Early 20th century rooming house heard

Owner of renaissance-style building willing to accommodate landmark status. On December 18, 2007, Landmarks heard testimony on the Allerton 39th Street House, built between 1916 and 1918 at 145 East 39th Street in the East Side of Manhattan. The building was one of six Allerton Houses in the City, a chain of residences and clubs that served young middle-class men until the mid- 1920s. Arthur Loomis Harmon, who later worked on the Empire State Building, designed the 39th Street House in a Northern Italian Renaissance style with a granite base and red brick three-bay facade. The onetime Salvation Army building currently serves as a residence.

At the hearing, the attorney for the owner, Jesse Masyr of the law firm Wachtel & Masyr, stated that the owner planned to convert the building to a hotel, a use no longer permitted as-of-right. Masyr argued that the proposed conversion is a return to the building’s original use.

Ed Kirkland of the Historic Districts Council testified in support of designation, and urged Landmarks to also consider the nearby Harmondesigned Shelton Towers Hotel, now the New York Marriot East Side, which he described as “an even more important building.”

Landmarks closed the hearing without announcing a date for its final vote.

LPC: Allerton 39th Street House, 145 East 39th St., Manhattan (LP-2296) (Dec. 18, 2008).

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