Here’s an update on the campaign to protect 75 Essex St., the former Good Samaritan/Eastern District Dispensary Building. Earlier this week, Community Board 3 voted 34-1 in favor of a resolution in support of an application now before the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The owner, Shalom Eisner, has said he could only support landmarking if the commission allows him to use the property’s air rights, building on top of the original four story structure. Eisner was not present at the CB3 meeting due to an illness in his family, and representatives speaking on Eisner’s behalf urged the board to delay the vote. But board members decided there had been ample time to hear the owner’s perspective.
A preservation group, Friends of the Lower East Side, submitted a request for evaluation to the Landmarks Commission earlier this year. So far, they have heard nothing from the LPC, but hope City Council member Margaret Chin will be willing to advocate for the proposal. You can see the full CB3 resolution below.
TITLE: Community Board 3 Resolution Supporting Landmarks Designation for 75 Essex Street, the former Good Samaritan/Eastern District Dispensary, built in 1890.
WHEREAS, the Italianate-style Good Samaritan/Eastern Dispensary building located at 75 Essex Street (corner of Broome Street), erected in 1890 and designed by distinguished architects Rose & Stone, is the only structure of its kind on the Lower East Side; and WHEREAS, the four-story building, which is in excellent condition, is clad in orange and tan brick, laid in Flemish bond, with brownstone trim, featuring a series of five round-arched openings on the first story along Essex Street; and WHEREAS, the Dispensary building was financed through private contributions, with operations funded by the City, and served the impoverished immigrant community of the Lower East Side; and WHEREAS, the building survives as a testimony to social reformers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, whose vision and commitment propelled New York City to pioneer progressive social change; and WHEREAS, a building that is part of the new Essex Crossing development will surround 75 Essex Street; and WHEREAS, other historic buildings within the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area will be demolished, leaving 75 Essex Street it as a lone architectural reminder of the history of the area; and WHEREAS, that Friends of the Lower East Side have agreed to work with the owner, the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the City Council, and the City Planning Commission to assist the owner with realizing the value of the property’s considerable air rights; so THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, Community Board 3 supports the proposal that the Landmarks Preservation Commission calendar and designate 75 Essex Street as a New York City Individual Landmark.