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Landmark Designation for Bialystoker Home

November 8, 2011

Honorable Robert Tierney, Chairman
New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10007

Re: Landmark Designation for the Bialystoker Home, 228 East Broadway, Manhattan

Dear Chairman Tierney:

The Lower East Side Preservation Initiative - LESPI - is writing to support designation of the Bialystoker Home at 228 East Broadway as a New York City Individual Landmark. This Art Deco style building dating from 1931 maintains a prominent visual presence on the streetscape and clearly meets the criteria for landmarking on architectural and cultural grounds.

The building’s monumental massing and characteristic Art Deco ornament, including the building’s name over the entry spelled out in letters in a Hebrew style, marks the institution’s importance to the surrounding Jewish community at the time of its construction: as the New York Times reported in 1931: “twenty-five years to the day after many of their number had fled from a pogrom in Bialystok, Russia, more than 5,000 Jews crowded East Broadway between Clinton and Montgomery Streets…and witnessed the opening and dedication….”

The Bialystoker Home is an important example of the historic institutional buildings peppered around the Lower East Side. During the decades around the turn of the 20th century, these facilities provided lifeblood for poor and struggling immigrant families. The relationship between the Lower East Side’s tenement residential buildings and more architecturally prominent institutional buildings is essential to our understanding of the immigrant experience at that time. The Bialystoker Home must be preserved as a critical component of the Lower East Side’s architectural and cultural history.

LESPI is an organization dedicated to preserving the architectural, historical and cultural heritage of Manhattan’s East Village / Lower East Side. With historic buildings falling prey to demolition and defacement on an almost daily basis, we believe that the LPC must act now to save the intact historic resources of these locally and nationally important neighborhoods for current and future generations.

We urge the LPC to vote to designate the Bialystoker Home as an Individual Landmark as soon as possible. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Carolyn Ratcliffe
Vice President

cc: Hon. Margaret S. Chin, New York City Council This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Landmark Designation Affirmation 135 Bowery.

July 19, 2011

Councilmember Margaret Chin
165 Park Row, Suite #11
New York, NY 10038

Via email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Re: 135 Bowery Landmark Designation

Dear Councilmember Chin:

The Lower East Side Preservation Initiative - LESPI - is writing to strongly support the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission’s recent designation of 135 Bowery as a New York City Individual Landmark.

135 Bowery is a striking and basically intact example of the Federal style architecture that dominated the city during its post Revolutionary War period, when New York was on the verge of the intensive growth that would bring it to prominent status on the world stage. The rare surviving examples of this architecture – including 135 Bowery - serve to remind and educate today’s and future New Yorkers of the small scale and simple yet elegant architecture that once dominated Manhattan. These buildings deserve protection from demolition and insensitive alteration.

We also believe that the landmarking of 135 Bowery should be part of a concerted effort by the city to save the Bowery’s unique and very threatened historic architectural resources.

LESPI is an organization dedicated to preserving the architectural, historical and cultural heritage of Manhattan’s East Village / Lower East Side. With historic resources falling prey to demolition and defacement on an almost daily basis, we believe that the LPC must act now to save the historically intact areas of these locally and nationally important neighborhoods for current and future generations.

We respectfully request that you vote for and help lead the City Council toward final approval of landmark status for 135 Bowery. Landmark designation is the only viable means to preserve this important historic building.

Sincerely,

Richard Moses
Steering Committee Member

Cc: Kate Daly, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission

LESPI Steering Committee:
Britton Baine
Katy McNabb
Richard Moses
Carolyn Ratcliffe
Philip Van Aver

 

Landmark Designation for former Citizens Savings Bank, 150 Canal St.

March 21, 2011

Honorable Robert Tierney, Chairman
New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10007

Dear Chairman Tierney:

The Lower East Side Preservation Initiative - LESPI - is writing to support designation of 150 Canal Street, the former Citizens Savings Bank, as a New York City Individual Landmark. This Beaux Arts style building maintains a strong visual presence at Bowery and Canal Street and has an aesthetically symbiotic relationship with the Manhattan Bridge nearby.

In New York, Beaux Arts architecture is perhaps stylistically unsurpassed in its outward expression of civic pride, virtue and aspiration. This bank building, constructed in 1924 in the heart of the Lower East Side’s immigrant community, tells an important story about the aspirations and expectations of the communities it served: its monumental form, rich materials and details, and prominent location served as a beacon in a neighborhood dominated by multiple family residences of simpler and less monumental design. The building is a landmark in the true sense of the word: its architecture proudly and emphatically proclaims its presence on the streetscape, and provides a wonderful marker for navigating the surrounding area.

LESPI is an organization dedicated to preserving the architectural, historical and cultural heritage of Manhattan’s East Village / Lower East Side. With historic buildings falling prey to demolition and defacement on an almost daily basis, we believe that the LPC must act now to save the intact historic resources of these locally and nationally important neighborhoods for current and future generations.

We urge the LPC to vote to designate 150 Canal Street as an Individual Landmark as soon as possible. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Richard Moses
Steering Committee Member

LESPI Steering Committee:
Britton Baine
Katy McNabb
Richard Moses
Carolyn Ratcliffe
Philip Van Aver

 

Landmark Designation for 35 Cooper Square

November 10, 2010

Honorable Robert Tierney, Chairman
New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10007

Dear Chairman Tierney:

The Lower East Side Preservation Initiative - LESPI - is writing to strongly support designation of the Federal style 35 Cooper Square as a New York City Individual Landmark. Although we applaud LPC’s recent efforts to save the remaining Federal style buildings in lower Manhattan, this building was unfortunately left unprotected by the Commission and is now in danger of demolition.

Built in the early 19th century, 35 Cooper Square has remained relatively intact since its construction. It is a particularly good example of New York City Federal architecture. Its small scale, simple elegance and distinctive roof configuration serve as a striking reminder of the Lower East Side’s character two centuries ago.

Research indicates that the building was built by Peter Stuyvesant’s great-grandson as a rental property; during the mid 20th century it housed and received renowned artists, writers and actors who helped define lower Manhattan’s rich artistic life. The area around Cooper Square remains one of the city’s most historically important and architecturally and socially vibrant neighborhoods. But unchecked and uncontrolled development has been literally bulldozing the area’s architectural and historical heritage, building by building.

35 Cooper Square must be preserved for its important Federal architecture and noteworthy history. Along with other rare surviving examples of New York’s Federal style architecture, this building deserves protection from demolition and insensitive alteration. We urge the LPC to vote to designate 35 Cooper Square as a NYC Landmark without delay.

Sincerely,

Richard Moses
Steering Committee Member

LESPI Steering Committee:
Britton Baine
Katy McNabb
Richard Moses
Carolyn Ratcliffe
Philip Van Aver

LESPI is an organization dedicated to preserving the architectural, historical and cultural heritage of Manhattan’s East Village / Lower East Side. With historic resources falling prey to demolition and defacement on an almost daily basis, we believe that the LPC must act now to save the historically intact areas of these locally and nationally important neighborhoods for current and future generations.

 

Landmark Designation for 326 and 328 East 4th Street

September 20, 2010

Honorable Robert Tierney, Chairman
New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10007

Via email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Re: Landmark Designation for 326 and 328 East 4th Street

Dear Chairman Tierney:

The Lower East Side Preservation Initiative - LESPI - is writing to strongly support designation of 326 and 328 East 4th Street as New York City Individual Landmarks. These buildings are under imminent threat and we urge that the LPC act quickly to protect these important local historic sites.

Nos. 326 and 328 are beautiful and essentially intact examples of Greek Revival style residential architecture, constructed in the 1830s as part of a row of houses. They mark an important era in the early history of the East Village, with strong ties to the waterfront businesses that once predominated along the Lower East Side’s shoreline. There are very few of these structures still extant in the community, and these buildings absolutely deserve landmark protection. Otherwise they face planned alterations that are almost certain to destroy their architectural and historic integrity.

LESPI is an organization dedicated to preserving the architectural, historical and cultural heritage of Manhattan’s East Village / Lower East Side. With historic resources falling prey to demolition and defacement on an almost daily basis, we believe that the LPC must act now to save the historically intact areas of these locally and nationally important neighborhoods for current and future generations.

We urge the LPC to vote to give 326 and 328 East 4th Street full landmark protection as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Richard Moses
Steering Committee Member

Cc: Hon. Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Hon. Rosaura Mendez, NY City Councilmember, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Susan Stetzer, District Manager CB3, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

LESPI Steering Committee:
Britton Baine
Katy McNabb
Richard Moses
Carolyn Ratcliffe
Philip Van Aver

 

Landmark Designation for 135 Bowery

August 24, 2010

Honorable Robert Tierney, Chairman
New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10007

Dear Chairman Tierney:

The Lower East Side Preservation Initiative - LESPI - is writing to strongly support designation of 135 Bowery as a New York City Individual Landmark. We applaud LPC’s calendaring of this property, as well as your recent efforts to save the remaining Federal style buildings in lower Manhattan.

135 Bowery is a striking and relatively intact example of the Federal style architecture that dominated the city during its post Revolutionary War period, when New York was on the verge of the intensive growth that would bring it to prominent status on the world stage. The rare surviving examples of this architecture – including 135 Bowery - serve to remind and educate today’s and future New Yorkers of the small scale and simple yet elegant architecture that once dominated Manhattan. These buildings deserve protection from demolition and insensitive alteration.

LESPI is an organization dedicated to preserving the architectural, historical and cultural heritage of Manhattan’s East Village / Lower East Side. With historic resources falling prey to demolition and defacement on an almost daily basis, we believe that the LPC must act now to save the historically intact areas of these locally and nationally important neighborhoods for current and future generations.

We urge the LPC to vote to give 135 Bowery full landmark protection as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Richard Moses
Steering Committee Member

LESPI Steering Committee:
Britton Baine
Katy McNabb
Richard Moses
Carolyn Ratcliffe
Philip Van Aver

 

Rezoning the East Side of the Bowery

March 31, 2010

Amanda Burden
Chair
NYC Department of City Planning
22 Reade Street
New York, NY 10007-1216

Dear Ms. Burden:

The Lower East Side Preservation Initiative (LESPI) strongly supports rezoning the east side of the Bowery in order to help protect this historic thoroughfare from further overscaled and inappropriate development. The Bowery is a nationally known street that has had a central and at times notorious role in New York’s history, dating back to its earliest years. Its very rich cultural and architectural history is still strongly reflected in the mix of low to mid rise buildings that line it.

From its beginnings as a rural route to its bawdy 19th century mix of taverns and bordellos, its 20th century impoverishment, its role in punk and alternative music history, and now its current mix of the chic and economically struggling, the Bowery has encompassed the diverse and contradictory characteristics of the city itself. The scale and historic resources of this street must be preserved now before the next real estate boom leads to more senseless demolition and overdevelopment. If this street’s historic scale and physical fabric are lost, the entire city will lose a critical and tangible link to its past. Notably the NY State Historic Preservation Office recently determined this area to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

LESPI is a group of local residents and preservationists who want to preserve what remains of the historic architecture and streetscapes of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. LESPI is particularly interested in protecting the Lower East Side’s historic streetscapes.

We urge the Planning Commission to extend the rezoning of the Lower East Side to include the Bowery’s east side, in order to help protect it from the forces of homogenized and insensitive development that run rampant in so much of our city.

Sincerely,

Richard Moses
Steering Committee Member

LESPI Steering Committee:
Britton Baine
Katy McNabb
Richard Moses
Marci Reaven
Carolyn Ratcliffe
Philip Van Aver

 

Designation for the Orthodox Church in America Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection

November 16, 2009

Honorable Robert Tierney, Chairman
New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10007

Dear Chairman Tierney:

The Lower East Side Preservation Initiative - LESPI - is writing to strongly support designation of the Orthodox Church in America Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection, at 59 East Second Street in Manhattan, as a New York City Individual Landmark. We applaud the recent calendaring of this property by LPC for a public hearing.

Designed by architect Josiah C. Cody in a Gothic Revival / Romanesque style, the church visually dominates the streetscape with its imposing and individualistic design. Located across the street from the landmarked Marble Cemetery, it serves as a powerful marker of the Lower East Side's history: the church is clearly an outstanding East Village landmark.

Additionally, we support landmarking of Congregation Mezritch Synagogue, at 415 East 6th Street, and 101 Avenue A. These buildings have not yet been calendared. The Congregation Mezritch Synagogue, constructed in 1910, is an exceptional classical design that adeptly conveys monumentality appropriate for a house of worship within the tight confines of a New York City lot. This building speaks to the resourcefulness and pride of the immigrant groups who have settled and continue to settle in this neighborhood.

101 Avenue A, constructed in 1876, is a fine example of neo-Grec tenement architecture. Its fascinating cultural history reflects the history of the East Village itself - from its late 19th century use as a German-American community hall, to its more recent use as the Pyramid Club, which for 30 years has been a venue for introducing now renowned musical talent and drag performers.

LESPI is an organization dedicated to preserving the architectural, historical and cultural heritage of Manhattan's East Village / Lower East Side. We believe that these sites are invaluable parts of our community's architectural and cultural heritage. With the East Village and Lower East Side's historic resources falling prey to demolition and defacement on an almost daily basis, we believe that the LPC must act now to save the historically intact areas of these locally and nationally important historic neighborhoods for current and future generations.

We have enclosed our brochure for your reference. We ask that the LPC move to give these sites full landmark protection as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Richard Moses
Steering Committee Member

LESPI Steering Committee:
Britton Baine
Carolyn Ratcliffe
Marci Reaven
Katy McNabb
Richard Moses
Philip Van Aver

 



The Lower East Side Preservation Initiative is dedicated to preserving the historic streetscapes of the Lower East Side, including the East Village, Lower East Side below Houston Street, Bowery, Chinatown and Little Italy