Two Historic LES Buildings in Landmark Pipeline:
Important Hearings Coming Up
LESPI’s mission is to work toward the creation of NYC landmark historic districts in the historic Lower East Side (E 14th to Fulton Streets). However, historic buildings worthy of Individual Landmark status are also on our radar. Here are two important landmarking candidates:
Eastern Dispensary Building
For decades, this striking 1890 Italian Renaissance style building at 75 Essex Street provided health care services for the Lower East Side’s poor. Today, though the exterior remains almost completely intact from its original construction, it is threatened by development pressures.
LESPI testimony at several Community Board 3 hearings, presented by Jean Standish and Eileen Kim, along with testimony from other neighborhood and preservation groups helped initiate the first procedural steps in the landmarking process. The March 6 hearing witnessed a vocal divergence of testimony, from preservationists wishing to save the building and its important history, to the owner who stated his desire to redevelop the site or build on top of it.
To help: CB3 is holding a hearing on the proposal on March 25. Support landmarking:
See HERE for a letter you can use as a model.
Tifereth Israel Town and Village Synagogue BuildingOriginally built in 1866 as the German Baptist Church, this early Kleindeutschland house of worship at 334 East 14th Street still presides over its modern streetscape due to the boldness of its design. In 1926, the building was converted to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and in 1962 it was converted to its present use as Tifereth Israel Town and Village synagogue. It
continues to play a vital role in the community, and remains an important landmark in every sense of the word.
To help: The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a
Public Hearing for landmark designation of the building Tuesday, March
25th at 9:30 am. Support landmarking:
See HERE for a letter you can use as a model (scroll down).
What’s Next? LESPI Moves ForwardNow that we’ve finished Phase 1 of our survey work and mapped the results, LESPI is in the process of meeting with our sister preservation and community organizations to compare notes and solidify plans for the next steps in preserving the historic East Village / Lower East Side. Time is of the essence – stay tuned.
Please donate to LESPI to help us in our work to preserve the historic East Village / Lower East Side! To donate, see HERE.
Or you can write a check to “FCNY/LESPI” and mail it to LESPI, c/o Neighborhood Preservation Center, 232 East 11th Street, New York, NY 10003. All donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.
Stay in Touch!
Go to “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!
“El Sueno” Celebrates Loisaida
This winter, LESPI partnered with Art Loisaida Foundation,(ALF), Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), and CHARAS to present “EL Sueno,” a multi-faceted art, music and local history project whose theme was the Latino Immigrant’s Dreams in the Lower
East Side. The two month event kicked off November 6 with an opening reception for the “El Sueno!” visual arts exhibit at the Theater for the New City, which was accompanied by live music performances. Curated by Art Loisaida Director and LESPI Vice President Carolyn Ratcliffe, the show presented the wonderfully diverse work of 18 local Latino visual artists.
El Sueno’s program included screenings of period and contemporary films on the squatters movement in the East Village / Loisaida. During the 1970s and into the 80s, local landlords increasingly abandoned their aging residential buildings, or denied basic services such as heat, hot water, and repairs. Residents banded together to move into and rehabilitate the buildings, primarily historic tenements with their own rich histories, using their own labor and materials to make them their own.
In December “Viva Loisiada” by Marlis Momber, “The Heart of Loisaida” by Marcie Reaven & Beni Matais, “11th Street Movement” by Stuart Leigh, and “Umbrella House” by Catalina Santamaria, presented first at the Neighborhood Preservation Center and later at the Lower East Side Girls Club, examined the lives and work of the squatters, many of whom were working artists and writers. The filmmakers relied primarily on interviews and contemporary footage, portraying the
often daunting challenges residents faced in making these buildings and streets their homes. Following the films there was lively audience discussion with the filmmakers, who spoke of their work and subject matter; Carolyn Ratcliffe, Carlina Rivera of GOLES and Chino Garcia of CHARAS, who answered questions about the neighborhood during this period; and LESPI President Richard Moses, who spoke about the need for preserving Loisaida’s important history.
El Sueno provided a fascinating and beautiful look at Loisaida / Lower East Side art and history. We want this wonderful multifaceted event to also serve as a model for future cultural events.
Photo-op: LESPI on flickr!Want a colorful photo history of LESPI? Browse our Flickr site HERE . Choose “Sets” to browse albums, including LESPI neighborhood petitioning and building survey sessions, lectures, tours, parties, and a lot of East Village / Lower East Side architecture. Don’t miss this very interesting collection!
LESPI is a grass roots, all-volunteer not-for-profit corporation in NY State formed in 2007 to urge the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission 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 Lower East Side below Houston Street, and rallying community residents, city officials and the LPC to effect landmark designation. LESPI is a not-for-profit corporation in the State of New York. Our fiscal sponsor is Fund for the City of New York.