What’s At Stake With 14-16 Fifth Avenue — What Does Preservation Mean?

As follow-up to last week’s hung jury at the Landmarks Preservation Commission regarding the application to demolish 14-16 Fifth Avenue, the 170-year-old former townhouses connected to some of the most important figures in New York and American history, Village Preservation has provided extensive information rebutting the arguments for demolition and appropriateness for the planned new development — read the letter here.

The possibility of demolition of these incredibly historically significant but altered houses has broad ramifications well beyond this site or even this neighborhood. A cursory examination of other sites in landmarked areas nearby shows that if the same logic being applied to the argument for allowing demolition were applied there, demolition would be allowed of many of our most cherished landmarked buildings.

Another example of landmarked buildings stripped of ornament and conjoined in historic districts, at 111 East 10th Street: would approval of demolition of 14-16 Fifth Avenue mean demolition of buildings like these would also be allowed?

Demolition can, always has been, and must be allowed for buildings within historic districts that are not significant or bear no relationship to the basis for landmark designation of the area. But that is clearly NOT the case here, and any such determination would threaten countless other similarly altered landmarked buildings. Read more here.

April 23, 2021