Landmarks Pushes Back on Troubling Gansevoort Market Historic District Plan For 44-54 Ninth Avenue/351-355 West 14th Street
Last Tuesday the Landmarks Preservation Commission heard a troubling application (click here to view) for major changes to the buildings at the northeast corner of 14th Street and 9th Avenue in the Gansevoort Market Historic District. This row of houses, among the oldest in the district, are located at a highly visible corner and help define the scale, sense of place, and history of Gansevoort Market. While the plan involved some welcome elements of restoration to these nine highly altered 1840s houses that hug this corner, it also involved demolition of virtually all of these buildings besides the street-facing facades below the roofline, and construction of a large, approx. 135 ft. tall glass tower behind, about 55% of which would lie outside the Gansevoort Market Historic District boundary and therefore is not subject to landmarks review.
Village Preservation felt strongly that this was an unacceptable compromise of the historic district we proposed and fought so hard to secure, and too high a price to pay for the restoration of parts of the facades of these buildings. Our members felt so too; they sent over 250 letters to the Landmarks Preservation Commission opposing the plan in just one day.
We’re happy to report that the Landmarks Preservation Commission appeared to agree. They expressed broad criticisms of the extent of demolition and replacement proposed for the historic buildings, as well as the design, scale, and placement of the proposed tower behind it. They sent the applicant back to the drawing board, leaving the ball in their court to return with a revised proposal to seek the Commission’s approval. We will continue to closely monitor the site and notify the public of any revised application.