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.
Steering Committee Member
LESPI Steering Committee:
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.