Ten block, 160-building district gets immediate protections from developers, incl. Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner; Brings to 1,250 total number of buildings landmarked in neighborhood since 2003

The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously today to landmark the third and final phase of GVSHP’s proposed South Village Historic District, called the Sullivan Thompson Historic District!  Landmark designation takes immediate effect, covering nearly 160 buildings on ten blocks south of Houston Street between 6th Avenue and West Broadway. A community celebration is planned tonight from 6 to 7pm (space is limited, so RSVP is required). Click here for images and map of the district.

Today’s designation is the culmination of a more than ten year campaign by GVSHP to secure landmark protections for the entire South Village, having first proposed landmark designation of the area to the city in 2006The first phase of that district was designated in 2010, and the second phase was designated in 2013. But the City had long refused to consider landmark protections for this final section, until GVSHP and allies promised to oppose a proposed rezoning of the nearby St. John’s Terminal which could increase development pressure on the South Village, unless landmark protections were offered for the area. City Councilmember Corey Johnson championed this cause, securing a commitment from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to consider landmark designation.

Buildings within the new Sullivan Thompson Historic District

In addition to City Councilmember Johnson, whose efforts were essential to today’s designation, special thanks go to the Preservation League of New York State for funding our landmarking proposal, Community Board #2 for its staunch support for designation, local groups such as South Village Neighbors and the SoHo Alliance, and to the thousands of our members and friends who wrote letters, spoke at hearings, and attended rallies and press conferences to call for landmark designation of this area. Your advocacy made a difference!

Landmark designation does not come a moment too soon. In recent years, an increasing number of historic buildings in the proposed district have been lost. Current zoning for the area allows towers of up to 300 feet in height. Developers have been buying up properties in the area, including Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner

The proposed district includes the monumental St. Anthony of Padua Church (1886), an imposing Romanesque Revival structure which is the country’s oldest extant Italian-American church, built for its very first Italian-American parish. The proposed district contains an unparalleled array of early 19th century rowhouses, remarkably intact late 19th/early 20th century tenement houses in a broad range of styles and configurations, well-preserved wooden and cast-iron 19th and early 20th century storefronts, and an extraordinary collection of architecture and institutions which reflect the immigrant experience from the last great wave of immigration to this country.

The designation of the Sullivan Thompson Historic District brings to over 1,250 the number of buildings GVSHP has helped get landmarked since 2003, including ten new historic districts and historic district extensions, and several dozen individual landmarks. About 625 of those landmarked buildings are located within the three designated historic districts of GVSHP’s proposed South Village Historic District.
Find out more about our efforts to preserve the South Village here.

December 13, 2016