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Home : Preservation : South Village : Latest News : 07/31/13

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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

54 MacDougal Street earlier this year (top), and today (bottom).

We’ve made incredible progress in our preservation efforts of late, in every corner of our neighborhood.  We’ve extended landmark and zoning protections to much of the Far West Village and Greenwich Village waterfront; the first third of our proposed South Village Historic District has been designated, the second phase is currently under consideration, and we have a commitment from the City to survey the final third before the end of the year; and we’ve increased historic district protections in the East Village tenfold.

But events in recent days demonstrate that we still have a long way to go, and these neighborhoods continue to face new threats.

We’re saddened to report that demolition has begun on the 1820 Ludlow-Weeks House at 54 MacDougal Street, which GVSHP fought to save.  Unfortunately, because it is within the final third of the proposed South Village Historic District which the City has only agreed to survey, but not yet act upon, it is not protected.  And in spite of the voluminous documentation GVSHP provided about its historic significance, including connections to Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, the City refused to consider it for individual landmark designation. 

This house at the head of King Street served as a “gateway” to the South Village.  Because of its “Old New York” look, it was used in the movie “Men In Black;” it may have survived alien attacks on film, but it was not able to survive the increased development pressure created, in part, by the recent nearby Hudson Square rezoning.

In spite of the incredible progress we have made, we have much more work to do.  GVSHP is committed to extending landmark protections to the entire South Village, before more is lost.  We are committed to seek and secure extended landmark protections throughout the East Village, as the new East Village/Lower East Side Historic District, while a tremendous step forward, still leaves too much of the neighborhood unprotected.  And we will continue to demand answers from the City and State about the new Hudson River Park pier air rights transfer provisions, and fight to ensure that none of these “air rights” are used for inappropriate or out-of-scale development along our waterfront.

If you’d like to support our preservation efforts, click HERE.


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Home : Preservation : South Village : Latest News : 07/31/13

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