Yesterday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission held a designation hearing for the proposed East Village/Lower East Side Historic District. The hearing room was packed and overflowing with supporters of the district who came to voice the many reasons why this historic district should be designated.
Elected officials including recent Village Awardee Councilmember Rosie Mendez, State Senators Duane and Squadron, Assemblymembers Glick and Kavanagh, and Manhattan Borough President Stringer sent representatives to speak in favor of the district.
In addition to GVSHP (read our testimony here), other community and preservation groups including the Historic Districts Council, the New York Landmarks Conservancy, the East Village Community Coalition, the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative, Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, Place Matters/City Lore, the Cooper Square Committee, Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association (the owner of 19 properties in the district), and the Metropolitan Chapter of the Victorian Society of New York also spoke emphatically in favor of the designation, calling out the neighborhood’s rich history, significant architecture, and cultural depth as well as its vulnerability to inappropriate and out of scale development.
While there were opponents, supporters of designation outnumbered them. More than 60% of those who testified spoke in support of landmark designation, including many residents of the East Village who spoke from the heart about the neighborhood and why it should be protected.
The Commission did not vote following the conclusion of testimony yesterday. We hope that the Commission will move quickly to schedule a vote so that the district does not languish and more sites are lost or damaged. You can read about the history of a dozen buildings in the proposed district here and here.
If you were unable to attend yesterday’s hearing, it is not too late to send a letter to the Landmarks Preservation Commission. You can find a sample letter and contact information here.
Want more of the East Village? We have two upcoming programs that explore the East Village — a walking tour of East Village Community Gardens on July 28 and Dishing Up the East Village: A Culture & Cuisine Tour in August. Please visit our events page to learn more and reserve your spot.