LESPI Newsflash December 23, 2011

NEWSFLASH! December 23, 2011

NYC Landmarks Commission Schedules January 17 Hearing Date for Proposed East 10th Street Historic District!

Sometimes the silver lining is larger than the cloud. For the Proposed East 10th Street Historic District, the threat of a rooftop addition that could have potentially damaged this beautiful building’s and streetscape’s historic character spurred the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission to accelerate their schedule and hold a Public Hearing January 17.


The NYC Department of Buildings recently received an application to construct a rooftop addition on a pristine neo-Gothic mid 19th century rowhouse in the proposed district. This alteration could have potentially disrupted both the building’s historic character, by changing its scale and design integrity, and the harmonious quality of this very intact blockfront along the north side of Tompkins Square Park, between Avenues A and B.

Proposed East 10th Street Historic District


When a property owner applies to the DOB for work in a proposed historic district, the LPC typically has 40 days to review the application and decide whether or not to landmark the property before the DOB grants final approval. If the LPC decides to landmark the property, the LPC reviews the design to make sure that it’s appropriate to the building’s historic architecture, and then issues a permit for the work.

LPC’s decision to set a January 17 Public Hearing date for the district’s landmark designation – which applies to landmarking the entire East 10th Street District, not just the building with the proposed rooftop addition – adheres to this 40 day time frame.


The Proposed East 10th Street Historic District is a remarkable surviving historic streetscape which visually defines the north end of Tompkins Square Park, and provides one of the most striking vistas within the East Village / Lower East Side. The individual buildings are excellent examples of NYC 19th century rowhouse and tenement architecture, and include styles such as Greek Revival, neo-Gothic, Italianate, and neo-Grec.

Without landmark protection these buildings will certainly lose their historic integrity, as the construction of rooftop additions, razing of ornate facades, and removal of cornices and other character defining features whittle away their historic character. Now is the time to save this unique and irreplaceable row!

For more information about the district, see LPC’s sites DISTRICT DESCRIPTION and MAP AND IMAGES.


To help ensure that the process runs smoothly and the district is designated on January 17, the best thing is to come to LPC on that date and testify in support. LPC is located at 1 Centre Street, 9th Floor South (right above the Lexington Avenue Line City Hall subway stop). Check LPC’s web site for the estimated hearing time.

If you can’t testify in person, be sure to send a letter. See LESPI’s letter supporting the district HERE – and feel free to use any or all of it for your letter. Send your letter to info@lpc.nyc.govThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by mail to the LPC’s address above, and please copy LESPI at info@LESPI-nyc.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Additionally, to help expedite the landmark designation of the Proposed East Village / Lower East Side Historic District please sign LESPI’s online PETITION if you haven’t done so already.

And join LESPI – see www.LESPI-nyc.org – to help advocate for the protection of the East Village / Lower East Side’s other intact historic streetscape and buildings.

SIGN ON to LESPI’s online petition

If you haven’t already signed our online petition to expedite the NYC Landmarks Commission’s landmarking of the two proposed East Village Historic Districts – sign on! Specifically, we want the LPC to hurry up and landmark the Proposed East 10th Street Historic District at LPC’s January 17 Public Hearing, and to hold a public hearing for the Proposed East Village / Lower East Side Historic District by early 2012 and vote to designate the district shortly thereafter. Go to the PETITION to sign on!

Remember – just because the proposed districts are calendered, they still DO NOT have full protection from demolition or defacement. So come on board and let the LPC know that these districts need full landmark designation now, so they get the full protection they deserve. Sign the online PETITION!

And by the way: our hard-copy petition urging LPC to landmark the historic streetscapes of the East Village / Lower East Side is now is over 1,000 signatures strong and counting. Thanks to all who signed!

Newsletter images by David Jarrett, Bruce Monroe and Carolyn Ratcliffe

Support LESPI!

We’re looking for people to help with outreach, people with specialized skills and experience, monetary donations (which are tax deductible as allowed by law), and any other assistance that can help further our mission. We’d very much appreciate your help in our campaign to preserve the East Village / Lower East Side and hope to hear from you in the near future.

Search “Lower East Side Preservation Initiative” on Facebook and check out our site! If you click the “Like” button you’ll receive periodic preservation, history and architectural updates for the LES/EV. You’ll also be showing support for our cause!


LESPI is a grass roots, all-volunteer not-for-profit corporation initially formed in 2007 to urge the LPC to designate as historic districts intact portions of the East Village / Lower East Side. Our strategy includes documenting and mapping the historic streetscapes, starting with the East Village, and rallying community residents, city officials and the LPC to effect landmark designation.

Contact us by email at info@lespi-nyc.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or use the form, through our web site lespi-nyc.org, or by mail at LESPI, c/o Neighborhood Preservation Center, 232 East 11th Street, New York, NY 10003.