Troubling Plan to Alter and Excavate Under Iconic 1834 Landmarked House at 131 Charles Street Returns Tuesday!

131 Charles Street (l.) and the proposal to dig under and extensively alter it and its historic rear house.

Proposal Would Also Alter and Potentially Endanger 19th Century Backhouse, Longtime Residence of Diane Arbus: TELL THE CITY NO TODAY!

A new plan to significantly alter and dig below the iconic landmarked house (1834) and backhouse at 131 and 131½ Charles Street, potentially endangering them and neighboring historic structures, will come before the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) next Tuesday. WE NEED YOU TO TELL THE LPC TO REJECT THIS LATEST PLAN AND PROTECT ONE OF NYC’S EARLIEST LANDMARKS AND THE FORMER HOME OF RENOWNED PHOTOGRAPHER DIANE ARBUS!

This is the third iteration of this plan to alter this iconic pair of buildings between Washington and Greenwich Streets, which were among the very first buildings landmarked by the city. No. 131 Charles is considered one of the most completely intact examples of a Federal-style (1790-1835) house — the very first uniquely American architectural style that emerged following the country’s independence. Nos. 131 and 131½ Charles are double-landmarked, also being located in the Greenwich Village Historic District Extension we fought for in 2006, as well as listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. WE HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN GETTING THE LPC TO REJECT PRIOR PLANS, BUT WE MUST STAND STRONG AGAINST THIS LATEST ITERATION, WHICH WOULD COMPROMISE AND POTENTIALLY ENDANGER THIS RARE PIECE OF NYC HISTORY!

The public will only be allowed to submit written comments on this plan, and they must be received by 5pm Friday to ensure they get to individual commissioners in advance of the Tuesday meeting (comments can be submitted for the record until noon on Monday). The public can also watch but not speak at the hearing on this item on Tuesday (during the day, time TBD).

October 12, 2023