Usually firemen are rushing into other peoples’ homes to rescue them. Yesterday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission was the savior, going into five different turn-of-the-century firehouses to consider them for preservation.
In addition to tabling the Rainbow Room and designating a Queens cemetery as the city’s newest landmark, the commission also calendared five historic firehouses, two each from the Bronx and Brooklyn and one from Queens. This follows the designation in June of three old firehouses in the Bronx and Queens [PDF].
The Landmarks Preservation Commission has been on the defensive of late, fighting off claims from the real estate industry that it hinders development rather than helping it. But in givings its unanimous approval to the transformation of the Brooklyn Municipal Building—in the newly created, much maligned Downtown Brooklyn Skyscraper Historic District—the commission reasserted its role as a steward of both the city’s history and economy.
“It proves again and I don’t know how many times we have to do it, that economic development and preservation go hand in hand and here’s a textbook example of it,” Commissioner Chairman Robert Tierney said in an email.
Affordable Housing or Lack Thereof
It used to house cast offs from some of the city’s oldest buildings, but soon it could house low-income New Yorkers.
The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development is seeking a developer to turn a Williamsburg warehouse that served as storage for the Landmarks Preservation Commission into an affordable housing development with 50 apartments. The development, at 337 Berry Street, sits on a 15,000-square-foot lot and calls for commercial or community space on the ground floor, as well as about 1,200 square feet of open space for residents.
The views are not too bad, looking out on the Williamsburg Bridge and Manhattan, though the rumble of the J-Train just might intrude on the apartments, as well, barring some good windows.
There’s a rule of thumb that applies to the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission: The agency shouldn’t try to designate a building a landmark against its owner’s will unless the commission’s ready for a loud public skirmish. And, generally in the Bloomberg administration, the commission has steered clear of such battles, making for relatively few such Read More
Last night, Michael Bloomberg hosted former mayor Read More
Gradually, the letters have begun to accumulate in Robert Tierney’s Lower Manhattan office. They all implore the same thing: landmark status for the Rainbow Room in 30 Rockefeller Center.
The first letter to Mr. Tierney, chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, came in September from Peter Ward, president of the New Read More
The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously today to designate DUMBO as a historic district, but the decision must be approved by the City Council and the City Planning Commission before the Brooklyn neighborhood officially becomes New York’s 90th historic district.
If passed, as is widely expected, all developers will need to get the green light Read More
The Tunnel Garage.
The Department of Buildings granted a demolition permit on Monday for the Tunnel Garage at 520-528 Broome Street. The Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation haas been fighting this for a while, and the organization has written a letter to L.P.C. chair Robert Tierney in a last-ditch attempt Read More