Designation of individual sites opposed by owners

Day of hearings on Staten Island properties proved controversial. On April 10, 2007, Landmarks held hearings on the possible designations of eight properties on Staten Island. While some property owners were positive about possible designation, others adamantly opposed. Owners feared that designation would mean reduced property values and restrictive government control of the use and possible modification of their homes.

Among the properties was 5466 Arthur Kill Road in Tottenville, built for an oysterman in … <Read More>

Hearings held on nine Robert Moses projects

Depression-era pools and play centers considered for individual designation. In the 1930s, under the guidance of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, the City built dozens of parks and swimming pools using federal Works Progress Administration funds. In the summer of 1936 alone, the City opened eleven large pool-oriented play centers.

On January 31, 2007, Landmarks heard public testimony on the proposed designation of nine of these WPA play centers, including the Bronx … <Read More>

Intro to give Council power to force landmark hearings

Hearing held on proposal to compel designation hearings. On November 14, 2005, the Council’s Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses held a public hearing on a proposed Local Law which would allow the Council to order the Landmarks Preservation Commission to hold a public hearing on a proposed landmark designation. The proposal, sponsored by Council Member Bill Perkins, would add two new provisions to the landmarks law. Under the first, the Council, by … <Read More>

Two designations despite owners’ objections

The Windermere and Dickey House designated. Despite strong opposition by current owners, on June 28, 2005, Landmarks designated the Windermere Apartments in Manhattan’s Clinton section, and the Robert Dickey House in Lower Manhattan.

The Windermere, constructed in 1881, is a visually compelling three-building complex located at 400-406 West 57th Street and Ninth Avenue. Its design, attributed to Theophilus G. Smith, features distinctive cornices and polychromatic brickwork. At the public hearings, the owner strongly opposed the … <Read More>

Landmarks holds hearings on the Plaza’s interiors

The Plaza’s new owners testify in support, claiming $350 million to be spent on restoration. Landmarks held two public hearings in June on the proposed designation of interior spaces in the Plaza Hotel, including the Oak Room and Oak Bar, the Terrace and Edwardian Rooms, the Palm Court, the Grand Ballroom’s first floor, and the two entrance lobbies at West 59th Street and Grand Army Plaza. While the exterior of the Plaza was designated an … <Read More>

Owners oppose designation of Queens buildings

Owners claimed designation will force them to close their business or hinder needed repair. On March 15, 2005, Landmarks held public hearings on its proposed designations of two separate commercial buildings in Queens: the Sohmer & Co. Piano Factory building in Long Island City and Elmhurst’s Jamaica Savings Bank.

The six-story Sohmer & Company Piano Factory building, built in 1886 and designed by Berger & Baylies, has a unique mansardroofed clock tower, making the building … <Read More>