REMINDER: Landmarks Hearing on Nine Partially Demolished 1840s Houses in Gansevoort Market TOMORROW — Write/Testify

Proposal for 44-54 Ninth Avenue/351-55 West 14th Street
The buildings in 2020 (top), and the previously approved plan for alteration and new construction (bottom). 

Tomorrow at approximately 2 pm (join at 1 pm to be safe), the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) will hold a remote public hearing to consider a revised plan for the partial demolition and “restoration” of nine landmarked 1840s houses at 44-54 9th Avenue/351-355 West 14th Street in the Meatpacking District — a previously approved project that also includes constructing a large office tower behind the buildings. Since that original approval in 2020, the developer has, with the City’s permission, partially demolished all nine buildings, after claiming that the buildings presented an imminent safety hazard only discovered after their work to alter the buildings to serve as an entryway for the large new office tower behind began. Village Preservation protested those approvals, citing the lack of clear evidence of such imminent safety hazards and consideration of less extreme alternatives to repair the buildings. The developer is now seeking LPC approval for a new plan that includes the already completed demolition of the facades of the buildings and their reconstruction and restoration.

Given that this plan is no longer the approved 2020 plan, which involved maintaining the facades and other elements of the buildings, the entire project MUST be reconsidered, and prior approvals no longer considered valid. We are instead calling for:

  • Approvals for the tower behind the structures, which was issued when the plan included a much more robust preservation and restoration plan for the nine historic landmarked houses, to be rescinded. 
  • Requiring the developer to restore (using the original bricks) the intact historic painted signage on the buildings which were revealed when the non-historic stucco was removed. 
  • More stringent requirements than being offered by the developer for preserving and reusing dismantled brick from the facades of the buildings, to reconstruct them with historic material as much as possible.

You can submit written comments of any length and/or testify via zoom for up to 3 minutes at the virtual Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing on this proposal tomorrow.

February 7, 2022