Plan for Oversized Addition to 827-831 Broadway Returns to Landmarks Preservation Commission 12/8

47 East 12th Street (l.) and 827-831 Broadway.

A plan for an oversized addition to the landmarked buildings at 827-831 Broadway (12th/13th Streets) and the adjacent non-landmarked building at 47 East 12th Street is returning to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for a public hearing on Tuesday, December 8. We oppose the plan and urge you too as well.

Background: In 2016, a developer planned to demolish 827-831 Broadway and 47 East 12th Street, three interconnected, jointly built 1866 cast iron buildings, and replace them with a 300 ft. tall office tower. Village Preservation led the campaign to save the buildings from demolition, fighting for landmark designation. After initially rejecting the proposal, in 2017 the City agreed to landmark the two Broadway buildings, leaving the 12th Street building undesignated.

The developer then sought Landmarks approval for a giant glass addition atop the landmarked Broadway structures, which we adamantly fought as well. The Landmarks Preservation Commission rejected two versions of the oversized glass addition plan. The applicant then substantially changed the plan, greatly reducing the size of the proposed addition to the Broadway buildings, but significantly increasing the size of the addition to the non-landmarked (but also historic) 12th Street building. Without holding a public hearing, the Commission approved the new plan.

Proposed additions to 47 E. 12th Street (l.) and 827-831 Broadway.

However, because the newest version of the plan was such a substantial change from the original version heard by the Commission, a judge has ruled that a new public hearing must be held on the revised plan which the Commission previously approved. In the interim, we have been fighting for landmark designation not only for the 12th Street building, but the entire surrounding area south of Union Square, which would prevent these kinds of developments from occurring.

We are calling upon the Landmarks Preservation Commission to not only reject this proposal, but to finally move ahead with the long overdue landmark designation of the 12th Street building and surrounding area.

You can also testify via zoom against the proposal on Tuesday – details here.

December 4, 2020