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New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Proposes To Remove 96 Properties for Designation Consideration
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com -
Contributed By: Historic Districts Council
Website: http://www.hdc.org

As has been reported in The New York Times, DNAinfo, Gothamist, The New York Post, CBS News and elsewhere, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has announced an Administrative Action to "de-calendar" 94 proposed Individual Landmarks and 2 proposed Historic Districts from its roster. These properties have been "Calendared" or "Heard But Not Designated" for at least five years. 

Click here to view the list and maps of properties being removed from consideration

HDC will be highlighting these properties in a series of emails over the coming days. Please see below for the first installment of 11 of these worthy historic resources. 

No one likes a back log - we all agree on that.  However, there are more efficient and transparent ways to address the backlog than to simply eliminate it. The wholesale removal of these properties without considering each one's merits would be a severe blow to the properties and to our landmarks process in general. Each landmark has its own story and the LPC is proposing to wash right over them. A series of public discussions to evaluate each of these 96 properties and sites would be a more considered, fair and transparent approach. By contrast, a radical de-calendaring effort could send an unfortunate message that jeopardizes any future effort to designate them. 

Furthermore, the properties and sites that the LPC is proposing to remove from its calendar represent years of research, work and support from New Yorkers, elected officials, community groups and the Commission itself.  To broadly reject all of this work out of hand with an administrative action is disrespectful of all that effort and dismissive of the judgment of previous Landmarks Commissioners and staff. If these 96 properties and sites are de-calendared, the Commission will not be notified, and any proposed work or demolition may occur as-of-right. 

What You Can Do?
To voice your opposition to this action, please contact:
LPC Chair, Meenakshi Srinivasan: comments@lpc.nyc.gov
Mayor
deBlasio: http://www.nyc.gov/html/static/pages/officeofthemayor/contact.shtml 

The Commission will be taking a vote on December 9th to remove these properties from current consideration. As of now, there will NOT be an opportunity for public testimony on this item at the Public Meeting. Please stay tuned for information about a rally at the Municipal Building on the day of the Public Meeting.  

What "Calendaring" Means:
When the LPC receives a Request for Evaluation (and it receives hundreds of requests annually), senior staff and the Commission Chair determine whether the property (or area) meets the criteria for designation. The full Commission reviews such potential landmarks at Public Meetings, where it can vote to schedule a Public Hearing on properties for further review. Thus, an item is put "on the calendar" for a future Public Hearing. Sometimes, properties are not acted upon immediately or even for several years for a variety of reasons, but "calendaring" is a definitive sign that the LPC feels a property merits consideration as a landmark, and can be a very powerful tool in the preservation of significant buildings and districts. 

Once a building is put on the LPC's calendar, the Department of Buildings is notified and the building is tagged as such in the DOB records. If a building owner applies to the DOB for a construction, alteration or demolition permit for a calendared building, the DOB will notify the LPC, which then has 40 days to consider the case and, if necessary, to vote on the building's designation. In other words, if a building is calendared, LPC has 40 days to act to designate it to prevent the issuance of a Buildings permit.  

This procedure has led to such last-minute rescues as the Elkins House, Crown Heights North's oldest house, at 1375 Dean Street, and the Elwell or Father Divine House, an Italianate villa at 70 Lefferts Place in Clinton Hill, which were both literally saved from demolition permits by lightning-fast designation votes by the LPC in October and December 2006, respectively.


Posted: December 3, 2014
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