December 22, 2011
Robert Tierney, Chair
New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10007
Re: Designation of the Proposed East 10th Street Historic District
Dear Chair Tierney:
Lower East Side Preservation Initiative – LESPI – strongly and unequivocally supports landmark designation for the Proposed East 10th Street Historic District. We loudly applaud the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s move to quickly designate this district in order to prevent it from being potentially compromised by the construction of a rooftop addition, and thank the Commission’s staff for their hard work on this proposed designation.
The blockfront on East 10th Street between Avenues A and B is perhaps the most significant in the East Village. This striking collection of historic structures has survived in remarkably good condition over the years and retains its uniform scale. The buildings run a gamut of mid 19th to early 20th century types and styles, including rowhouses, tenements, and an institutional building, in styles as diverse as Greek Revival, neo-Gothic, Italianate, neo-Grec and neoclassical. Situated at the north end of Tompkins Square Park in the “heart” of the East Village, this historic streetscape provides a wonderful iconic view from within the park and serves as a landmark to passersby in the truest sense of the word.
LESPI’s mission is to advocate for the preservation of the architectural, historical and cultural heritage of Manhattan’s East Village / Lower East Side. Our focus is on historic streetscapes, which we believe truly reflect the history and architecture of this community. Historically the street is where much of the neighborhood’s life was lived (and continues to be lived), so it is not surprising that the East Village / Lower East Side’s historic buildings – the rowhouses and tenements peppered with small institutional and commercial buildings – can only be truly understood and appreciated in context with their neighboring structures. The Proposed East 10th Street Historic District fits this model. With the EV / LES’s historic resources falling prey to demolition and defacement on an almost daily basis, we believe that the LPC must act now to save these locally and nationally important neighborhoods’ intact historic resources for current and future generations
We urge the LPC to move as quickly as possible to landmark the Proposed East 10th Street Historic District. We also ask that LPC move without delay to hold a public hearing for and landmark the Proposed East Village / Lower East Side Historic District, whose historic buildings remain in danger of demolition, defacement and damage as well. Thank you.
Richard D. Moses
Hon. Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President
Hon. Rosie Mendez, New York City Council
Kate Daly, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission