Two Federal row houses designated as landmarks

Despite homeowner objections, rare residences designated unanimously. Landmarks designated two Federalera row houses at 486 and 488 Greenwich Street as individual landmarks on July 24, 2007. The two-and-a-half story houses, built in 1823 for German tailor and developer John Rohr, now contain commercial establishments on their ground floors. The houses retain their peaked dormered roofs, stone lintels and sills, and essential identity as three-bayed row houses despite numerous alterations over the years. The buildings’ survival is notable given the area’s transformation into residential lofts and industrial and commercial uses.

At the April 10, 2007 hearing, the row houses’ owners, Jon and Geoffrey Hendricks, expressed ambivalence over the potential landmarking. The Hendricks testified that landmarks were “an important part of the city,” but worried about associated costs. Supporters of designation included the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and the Society for the Architecture of the City. 4 CityLand 61 (May 15, 2007).

At the designation, Commissioner Joan Gerner called the buildings “elegant,” while Commissioner Libby Ryan referred to them as examples of “an endangered species.” Landmarks voted unanimously to designate the two buildings as individual landmarks.

LPC: 486 Greenwich Street House (LP-2225); 488 Greenwich Street House (LP-2224) (July 24, 2007).

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