City Council Panel Overturns Landmarking of 135 Bowery

135 Bowery.

A short time ago, the Landmarks Subcommittee of the City Council voted 4-1 to disapprove the landmarking of 135 Bowery, an 1817 federal style row house.

Community activists won a rare victory this past summer, when the Landmarks Preservation Commission decided the endangered building was worthy of protection. But today District 1 City Councilmember Margaret Chin explained why she had decided to withdraw her earlier support for preserving 135 Bowery.  Most members of the panel deferred to her judgment, with the exception of Rosie Mendez, who represents neighboring District 2 (covering the area above Houston Street).

First American International Bank, the property owner, wants to demolish the historic row house and put up a 7-story commercial building. Chin said she was swayed by their offer to create affordable commercial space for small businesses in Chinatown.

There was a lot of passionate testimony from neighborhood activists today. They argued that saving 135 Bowery is critical to retaining the character and authenticity of the Lower East Side. The full City Council must vote on the committee’s recomendation later in the month.

We’ll have a more detailed report, summarizing all of the testimony, sometime soon.

 

6 comments to City Council Panel Overturns Landmarking of 135 Bowery

  • BelowGrand

    I am so disappointed in our councilmember Chin. I have supported her in the past. I have to have another think now.

  • BelowGrand

    I am so disappointed in our councilmember Chin. I have supported her in the past. I have to have another think now.

  • BelowGrand

    I am so disappointed in our councilmember Chin. I have supported her in the past. I have to have another think now.

  • Professor Von Nostren

    The LPC should be ashamed of itself, as should Margaret Chin.  We’re losing valuable historic building sin this city (especially Bowery) at such an alarming, rate, NYC will be nothing more than a strip mall in 5 years.  Disgusting. 

  • BoweryBooster

    One term, Madame Chin.  ONE TERM.  You’ve proven yourself to be pliable to those with money, over the wishes of your constituents.  What sort of future have you lined up with those bankers and foreign investors that care naught for District 2?

  • Lbrozgol

    This is the e-mail I sent to Chin before the City Council Panel met: 

    I am sick of developers, I am sick of development and I can assure you I will be sick of you if you continue in your efforts to overturn the Landmark Preservation Committee’s designation of 135 Bowery as a landmark.  I will be watching your actions very carefully and can assure you that you will lose my vote if you persist in this effort.