LESPI's Testimony re: Landmarking Seward Park Library

March 20, 2013

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

Re: Landmark Designation for Seward Park Library, 192 East Broadway, Manhattan

Dear Chair Tierney:

The Lower East Side Preservation Initiative - LESPI - is writing to support designation of Seward Park Library as a New York City Individual Landmark. This wonderful neo-Renaissance style building, which remains in very good condition from its original construction, maintains a strong visual presence on East Broadway and beautifully frames the southeast corner of Seward Park.

As you know, at the turn of the 20th century the Carnegie Libraries were highly important neighborhood intellectual and cultural resources as well as local expressions of civic pride and aspiration. At the time of its construction, perhaps no other community was more suitable for a Carnegie Library than the Lower East Side’s immigrant community, and Seward Park Library’s architecture tells an important story about the lives and goals of the peoples it has served over many generations. It is a landmark in the true sense of the word: its architecture proudly and elegantly proclaims its presence on the streetscape, and speaks to the history of the surrounding neighborhood, in this case a history with tremendous local, national, and even international significance.

We request that the LPC vote without delay to designate the Seward Park Library as an Individual Landmark. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Richard Moses
President

 

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