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City Council Votes Against Landmark Status for 135 Bowery

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Photo by Robert K. Chin.

This afternoon, the full City Council voted to reverse a decision by the Landmarks Preservation Commission to protect 135 Bowery, a nearly 200 year old federal row house. City Councilmember Margaret Chin sided with the building owner, a bank that wants to demolish the building and put up a new 7-story commercial structure.

Today, only one Councilmember, Rosie Mendez, voted in favor of landmark status.  In a subcommittee hearing last week, most Councilmembers deferred to Chin, saying they trusted her judgment about what was best in her district.

Chin said she was swayed by the bank’s promise to create affordable office space in Chinatown. Numerous preservation groups denounced Chin’s decision and have vowed to keep fighting for the historic building.


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  1. Supporters of Landmarks Preservation within Margaret Chin’s district are distraught about this. Not only are we losing an important Federal building, we are losing the opportunity for further Landmarks designations so long as she is in office.

    Why should the LPC designate a building or historic district, knowing that the Councilmember will reverse herself and nix it in the City Council. This is a terrible precedent.

    I have been a solid supporter of Councilmember Chin, but must now reconsider my position.

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