Elected officials,residents,and preservationists supported Landmarks protection for proposed district’s 73 properties. On June 22, 2010, Landmarks heard testimony on the designation of the Bronx’s Grand Concourse Historic District. The district would encompass 73 properties along the Grand Concourse between 153rd and 167th Streets and portions of Walton and Gerard Avenues. The “Grand Boulevard and Concourse” was designed by French engineer Louis Reiss and completed in 1909 to connect Manhattan residents to the Bronx. The area is known for its variety of architectural styles, including a collection of Art Deco and Moderne-style apartment buildings. 7 CityLand 11 (Feb. 15, 2010).
At Landmarks’ public hearing, Wilhelm Ronda, director of planning for Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., testified that Diaz supported the designation. Ronda noted that many of the area’s buildings were undergoing insensitive renovations and that Landmarks’ oversight would ensure that “change is managed in an appropriate manner.” The Historic Districts Council’s Simeon Bankoff supported the designation of what he termed the “Bronx’s Champs-Elysees.”
Lisa Lieberman, owner of four buildings in the proposed district, supported preserving the area’s Art Deco heritage, but opposed designation. Lieberman noted that many of the buildings in the area are rent stabilized and that the increased costs associated with maintaining a landmarked property would be financially damaging to owners and tenants.
Chair Robert B. Tierney closed the hearing, but he kept the record open for 30 days.
LPC: Grand Concourse Historic District, Bronx (LP-2403) (June 22, 2010).