City Council Committee Votes to Protect Bialystoker Nursing Home Building

The Bialystoker Nursing Home building at 228 East Broadway is one step away from officially becoming a New York City landmark.  The landmarks committee of the City Council voted a short time ago to sign off on a decision from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to protect the 1931 Art Deco structure. 

Bialystoker Building Declared Landmark

Bialystoker Nursing Home, 229 East Broadway.

Bialystoker Nursing Home, 229 East Broadway.

A short time ago, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to designate the Bialystoker Nursing Home building at 228 East Broadway. The home closed in 2011 and plans were made to redevelop the parcel. After a long campaign by local preservationists the nursing home board dropped its opposition to landmarking. The building is expected to be sold and converted to condominiums. More to come…

UPDATE 4:24 p.m. The vote was unanimous.  Several commissioners spoke in glowing terms about the worthiness of the building, which is one of the last remaining physical reminders of the Jewish Lower East Side and the neighborhood’s immigrant past. Commissioner Margery Perlmutter noted that the Bialystoker building stood as the Seward Park urban renewal project  led to the demolition of so many other buildings in the immediate vicinity. She said this is part of what makes the structure special but also referenced its “quite extraordinary (Art Deco) architecture.”  Another commissioner said the building is especially striking because its sits at an intersection that brings together the varied architecture of several eras, including tenement construction and mid-century highrise construction.  LPC Commissioner Robert Tierney said it’s a “special building” with a “special character.”

Landmarks Commission Scheduled to Vote on Bialystoker Nursing Home Designation Tomorrow

228 East Broadway.

228 East Broadway.

Preservationists have been battling to save the Bialystoker Nursing home building at 228 East Broadway since the facility closed in late 2011.  Now the Landmarks Preservation Commission is poised to vote in favor of designation.  The vote is expected to occur tomorrow afternoon during the commission’s regularly scheduled public meeting.  The item is listed on the agenda at 1:56 p.m. (it could be heard any time after about 1:30).

In February, the Friends of the Lower East Side, a preservation coalition, and many other community members testified before the commission, arguing that the 1929 Art Deco building is worthy pf protection not only for its architecture but also because of the important role it played in Jewish immigrant life on the LES for many decades.

The nursing home board initially opposed landmark status and sought to demolish the building but later  dropped its opposition.  Several potential buyers expressed interest in purchasing the building for a condo conversion.

 

Big Turnout For Bialystoker Hearing Before Landmarks Commission

228 East Broadway.

There was strong turnout this morning at a public hearing concerning an application to protect the former Bialystoker Nursing Home building at 228 East Broadway.  The Landmarks Preservation Commission heard from a couple dozen speakers, all in support of saving the 1929 Art Deco building, and Bob Tierney, the panel’s chairman, even played the role of “matchmaker.”

The Bialystoker home, facing a range of financial problems, closed in late 2011, and for a time, the board sought a buyer interested in purchasing the site for redevelopment.  Following months of activism by a new preservation group, Friends of the Lower East Side, the board changed course, saying it would not stand in the way of the landmark application. Today, Chairman Tierney thanked the owners for working hand-in-hand with the commission during the past few months in what he called “a productive paertnership.”

Reminder: Bialystoker Nursing Home Hearing Tomorrow

Bialystoker Nursing Home, 228 East Broadway.

Here’s a reminder that the Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a hearing tomorrow morning concerning the Bialystoker Building, the former nursing home that was shuttered moe than a year ago at 228 East Broadway.  A preservation group, Friends of the Lower East Side, has been fighting to save the building from the wrecking ball.

Public testimony will be heard on the designation application but no decision is expected from the commission tomorrow.  Initially the nursing home board opposed designation but a spokesperson for the board told us in December that they had dropped their objections. The board has been trying to sell the site for a luxury condo project.

The hearing takes place at 9:30 a.m. at the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s office, 1 Center Street.  Anyone is welcome to testify for or against the application.

 

Landmarks Sets Bialystoker Hearing For Feb. 12

Bialystoker Nursing Home, 228 East Broadway.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission has scheduled a public hearing for the Bialystoker Nursing Home building, the 84 year old structure 228 East Broadway.  It will take place Tuesday, February 12.  Last year, preservation groups submitted an application to protect the shuttered 1929 structure after the institution’s board floated a plan to sell the home as a redevelopment parcel.  As we reported in December, the nursing home board has dropped its opposition to the landmark application.

At the February 12 hearing, there will be an opportunity for public testimony.  The time for the hearing is not yet set. We’ll let you know when we have new information.

 

Breaking: Landmarks Commission Votes to Advance Bialystoker Application

Bialystoker Nursing Home on East Broadway.

News from the Landmarks Preservation Commission this morning. Commissioners voted to “calendar” the application for the Bialystoker Nursing Home building at 228 East Broadway. As we reported over the weekend, the Bialystoker board has dropped its opposition to protecting the building, which is currently vacant. Also today, the LPC decided to schedule a hearing for the Seward Park Library. No hearing dates as of yet. More to come…

Bialystoker Nursing Home Board Won’t Oppose Landmark Application; Hearing Scheduled (Updated)

Bialystoker Nursing Home on East Broadway.

Some big Friday afternoon news from the Landmarks Preservation Commission.   Preservationists have been lobbying for many months for the commission to protect the Bialystoker Nursing Home building at 228 East Broadway.   We’ve just been advised the application is listed on the public calendar for next Tuesday’s meeting.   At the meeting commissioners will vote whether to place the application on the calendar for a public hearing (with testimony) at a later date.

The nursing home was shuttered last year and the board of directors has been angling to sell the building to a developer interested in demolishing the 1929 structure.  It’s been a highly controversial issue on the Lower East Side.  While preservation groups believe the building is an important reminder of the neighborhood’s immigrant past, many members of the Orthodox Jewish community opposed designation.

Chin, Preservation Activists Try to Keep the Bialystoker in the News

Last Friday, Bialystoker Nursing home building, 228 East Broadway.

On Friday, City Council member Margaret Chin came to the shuttered Bialystoker nursing home on East Broadway for a “photo op” with community activists battling to save the building from the wrecking ball.  As we reported last month, Chin is urging the Landmarks Preservation Commission to protect the 1929 Beaux Arts building. 

Chin Backs Bialystoker Landmarking

Bialystoker Nursing Home on East Broadway.

We have an update this afternoon concerning the fate of the Bialystoker Nursing Home building at 228 East Broadway. The financially troubled home shuttered last year, and the nursing home board has been negotiating to sell the property to a developer who planned to demolish the 1929 Beaux Arts building.   Many months ago, community groups filed an application with the Landmarks Preservation Commission, in a bid to save the building from the wrecking ball.  Now City Council member Margaret Chin has decided to back the preservation efforts.

CB3 Asks Landmarks Commission to Protect Bialystoker Building

Bialystoker Nursing Home building, 228 East Broadway. Photo by: thelodownny.com.

Last night, Community Board 3 voted 20-12 (with four members abstaining) in favor of a resolution calling on the Landmarks Preservation Commission to protect the former Bialystoker Nursing Home building at 228 East Broadway.   The debate leading up to the vote was lengthy and sometimes contentious, and forced many board members to make a wrenching decision.

As we have been reporting for many months now, preservationists are trying to prevent the nursing home board from selling the 1929 Art Deco building to a developer who plans to demolish it, and put up new condos on the site.   The Bialystoker organization contends that it cannot pay off its debts (including $4 million owed to former employees) unless the property is redeveloped.  Ladmark-status would obviously prevent demolition.

Not Everyone Views the Bialystoker Building Through the Same Lens

Photos from Yenta Laureate.

This evening Community Board 3 will vote on a resolution in support of saving the Bialystoker Nursing Home building on East Broadway.   Previously, CB3’s landmarks subcommittee and parks committee voted in favor of the resolution, which encourages the Landmarks Preservation Commission to act on an application to protect the endangered building.

We last reported on this issue following the landmarks subcommittee meeting.  Our coverage focused on the “case for demolition,” since it was the first time the Bialystoker Board had detailed in a public setting why it is trying to sell the building as a development site.  Today, we hear from an anonymous preservationist, who obviously sees something in the shuttered nursing home that board members and a lot of members of the Lower East Side’s Orthodox Jewish community do not.

The Battle For the Bialystoker: More Community Perspectives

Bialystoker Nursing Home building, 228 East Broadway. Photo by: thelodownny.com.

Last week,  we filed a brief report after Community Board 3’s landmarks subcommittee voted in favor of protecting the Bialystoker Nursing Home building, at 228 East Broadway.  Today — a more detailed account from the public hearing, which offered the most expansive explanation yet from nursing home board members about their decision to close the Lower East Side institution after 80 years and to sell the building as a development site.

Shortly after the home closed last year, preservationists filed an application with the city to designate the 1929 building an historic landmark.  The nursing home board opposed this move, arguing that landmarking would scare off prospective buyers.  The Landmarks Preservation Commission has not announced whether it intends to ‘calendar” the application and schedule a public hearing on the matter.  Community activists hoped an endorsement from the CB3 would compel the commission to act.

CB3 Panel Supports Bialystoker Landmarking; Nursing Home Says Sale Approved by AG

Photo credit: Friends of the Bialystoker Home

Last night, Community Board 3’s landmarks subcommittee voted 6-1 in favor of a resolution supporting historic protection of the Bialystoker Nursing Home on East Broadway. The facility was shuttered last year. Preservation activists filed an application with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to protect the 1930’s-era Beaux Arts buiding. The commission has not yet acted on the application.

Representatives of the nursing home board were in attendance at the meeting. They handed out a press release that read, “the Bialystoker Board is now in the process of entering into a contract of sale (of the building) to the highest bidder.” It continued, “The sale has been approved by the Attorney General.”

Sale of Bialystoker Home Could Be Imminent; Activists Hope For Political Intervention

Bialystoker Nursing Home, 228 E. Broadway.

This morning, we posted a report from yesterday’s event examining the Bialystoker Nursing Home’s past, present and future. Preservation activists hoped it would add momentum to their campaign to save the 1929 Art Deco building, located at 228 East Broadway.

The home, shuttered months ago, was until recently being marketed online as a development site.  That listing has now vanished, amid rumors that the secretive Bialystoker board was close to signing a deal to sell the building.  They have apparently signaled that the prospective buyer would surely walk away from the negotiating table if  the building is designated as an historic landmark.  This afternoon there are new indications that a contract could be inked as soon as this week.