Simeon Bankoff: Taking the Context out of Contextual Zoning

In March 2015, the City Planning Commission announced a proposal called Zoning for Affordability and Quality, which broadly calls for three principal changes in the current citywide zoning resolution. The plan proposes to change and enlarge definitions of senior housing to include more types of housing providers than currently permitted. It also proposes to increase buildable space for senior housing in some instances. The proposal also seeks to lessen or some instances no longer mandate … <Read More>

HDC’s Simeon Bankoff Talks About Life on the Preservation Front Lines

The temperature was in the 90s the day Simeon Bankoff met with City- Land. Mr. Bankoff, Executive Director of the Historic Districts Council, a prominent city preservationist organization founded in 1971 as part of the Municipal Art Society, and operating independently since 1986, had just returned from a demonstration on the steps of City Hall. While most would have wilted, the charming and voluble Mr. Bankoff animatedly discoursed for over an hour on the Historic … <Read More>

Landmarks Approves Tin Pan Alley Designation

The five buildings were home to popular musicians and publishing firms during the height of Tin Pan Alley. On December 10, 2019, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to approve the landmarks designation of five Italianate-style rowhouses located at 47-55 West 28th Street, collectively known as “Tin Pan Alley.” Tin Pan Alley is known for being the home of musicians and sheet music publishers between 1893 and 1910. The area received its nickname from the sounds … <Read More>

Special hearing on Backlogged Items Devoted to Staten Island Properties

Items at issue included a former retirement community for sailors, a Colonial-era stone farmhouse, a lighthouse, and the Vanderbilt family mausoleum. On October 22, 2015, the Landmarks Preservation Commission held the second of four special hearings to address the backlog of items calendared before 2012 but never brought to a vote on designation. The hearing consisted of three batches, of seven to eleven items each, all located in Staten Island. Twenty-six items in total were … <Read More>

Legislation Proposed to Establish Time Limits on Landmark Designation

Proposed law sets requirements for holding hearings and decisions or risk automatic decalendaring.  On April 28, 2015 a bill was introduced for consideration at the City Council’s stated meeting to create time limits on the City landmarking process.  The bill, Intro 775, was introduced by Councilmembers Peter Koo and David Greenfield.

Elected Officials, Community Groups Rally Against Mayor’s Citywide Rezoning Plan

Speakers argued the plan eliminates residential zoning protections with little affordable housing benefit.  On March 25, 2015 the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation held a press conference on the steps of City Hall to protest Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed citywide rezoning plan, “Zoning for Quality and Affordability”.  According to the Department of City Planning, the plan was created in response to zoning barriers identified by DCP and the Department of <Read More>