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Only Seven Landmarks in One of New York’s Most Historically Rich Areas? What about 37 East 12th Street?

Recently we looked at seven late 19th and early 20th century buildings now under consideration for landmarking by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (read about them here,) They are all located along Broadway south of Union Square, in an area rich in architectural and cultural significance, and also increasingly endangered since the approval by the City Council of the Mayor’s “Tech Hub” on 14th Street.  So in looking around the area, it begs the question: why only these seven? Today we look at one gem not yet under consideration for landmarking: 37 East 12th Street.

Few buildings in the City have as richly ornate a ground floor or as striking columns as 37 East 12th Street.

Designed in 1895 by architects Cleverdon & Patzel, this eight-story building was formerly number 39 on the block.

Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. (1899). Plate 30, Part of Section 2: [Bounded by E. 14th Street, Second Avenue, E. 8th Street and University Place] Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e2-5565-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
 The building is clad in brick and embellished with terra-cotta detailing. A colossal ionic column separates the two central bays from the third through the fifth floors. The semi-fireproof factory and loft building initially served the garment industry. The commercial building was converted to residential use in 2014.

Columbia University Libraries Digital Collections: The Real Estate Record, Real estate record and builders’ guide: v. 55, no. 1415: April 27, 1895

There are many more buildings in the area associated with some of the greatest artists of the mid-20th century when this part of the Village was the center of that world. Additionally, there are apartment buildings and converted old hotels which housed leading literary figures and publishers in this area. Based on the architectural, cultural and artistic heritage of this area, GVSHP recently sent a letter to the Landmark Preservation Commission strongly urging them to reconsider and expand landmarking beyond the seven buildings currently proposed (one of those seven being considered is the Renaissance Revival style building at 830  Broadway, also designed by Cleverdon & Patzel).

For further information on this and the opportunity to attend the LPC hearing on December 4th or to send a letter to the LPC in support of further landmarks designation, click HERE.


1940s Tax Photo. www.nycma.lunaimaging.com New York City Municipal Archives Online Gallery

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