NEWS AND ISSUES


February 27, 2008

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

Dear Mr. Tierney:

I would like to thank the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) for agreeing to survey the area west of Sixth Avenue in the proposed South Village Historic District. I greatly appreciate LPC taking this first step and hope that the proposal for the entire district, as detailed in the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation's (GVSHP) report, "The South Village: A Proposal for Historic District Designation," can be advanced as soon as possible.

The cohesive and unique urban fabric in the South Village, formed by the collection of tenements, row houses, industrial lofts, and churches both east and west of Sixth Avenue, is clearly under threat. Indeed, several 19th century houses on the east side of Sixth Avenue near Van Dam Street were recently destroyed. Other notable buildings in the proposed district face current threats, such as the former stage coach house at 233-37 Bleecker Street, the Former Fire Patrol House #2 at 84 West 3rd Street, and the 1861 row house at 178 Bleecker Street. The South Village is one of the few places in our city where the architectural landscape, which played host to a succession of quintessential New York constituencies, remains virtually unaltered. Without the protection that historic district designation would provide, however, this distinct neighborhood is unlikely to be preserved much longer.

GVSHP worked on its proposal for years, through research and proactive consultation with community groups, and continues to be dedicated to securing this designation as a separate and distinct historic district. I appreciate the demands placed on LPC and the limits of its resources; however, I would like to join GVSHP in expressing the urgency of this matter and hope for a swift and comprehensive designation process.

Thank you again for taking this encouraging step forward with this proposal. I appreciate LPC's dedication to preserving our Cityfs heritage and look forward to continuing to work with you towards that end.

Sincerely,


Thomas K. Duane

New York State Senate
29th District


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