It was a busy day at the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Lower East Side resident Linda Jones, a member of the Historic Districts Council, just gave us an update. As we reported earlier, the Commission voted to protect the Henry Street Settlement’s playhouse. Chairman Robert Tierney took a moment during the proceedings to praise Henry Street for its stewardship not only of the theater but of all of its historic buildings.
The Commission also heard testimony concerning the Citizens Savings Bank at 54-58 Bowery. We previewed this agenda item last week. Linda spoke for the Historic Districts Council, which has made protecting the Bowery one of its highest priorities this year. Commissioners also heard from Mitchell Grubler of the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors.
The LPC decided to “calendar” applications for seven Federal houses, including 339 Grand Street (the Ideal Hosiery building) and 22 East Broadway. Those hearings will take place June 28th.
Mary Beth Betts, head of the research department, pointed out that the Commission under Chair Tierney has designated 16 Federal buildings. She gave an illustrated talk to help us understand Federal Buildings and (explained) which might receive designation. Among the good examples in our area were 511-513 Grand Street, 190-192 Grand Street, and 143 Allen Street. Examples of buildings that would not be considered included 35 Cooper Square and 140 Bowery. The problems with these buildings include a lack of original materials and details.
The reference to 35 Cooper Square is, of course, not what activists fighting to save the building from the wrecking ball wanted to hear. We’ll have more on this later.