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A Grave Threat to the Merchant’s House
A developer is planning to build a 9-story hotel at 27 East 4th Street, adjacent to and towering over the Merchant’s House Museum. The new 9-story building would not only overwhelm the 180-year-old landmark Merchant’s House and be strikingly inappropriate to the historic residential context of East 4th Street within the Noho Historic District, but the construction process for a building of this scale is absolutely guaranteed to damage the house.
The potential damage to our very fragile 1832 landmark building — a federal, state, and city landmark, inside and out — during demolition of the existing garage and construction of the new hotel is huge. According to structural engineers, if our building shifts, even one eighth of an inch, we could lose our original decorative plasterwork, considered the finest extant in New York City and a national treasure.
We think the risk to the house may simply be too great.
Details of the plan are here.
March 12 UPDATE
Some good news! The LPC sent the developers packing at today’s public hearing — back to the drawing board. The Commissioners’ (and our) concerns: their proposed protection/building plan does not sufficiently ensure the safety of the Merchant’s House; the scale of the proposed building is too great, and the design is not appropriate for the NoHo Historic District (“banal, generic 1960s midtown modern” and “the Hong Kong look” were mentioned.)
Clearly (another) victory. The fight isn’t over yet, but a positive step.
Read all about it! And of course on Facebook and Twitter.
March 5, 2013, UPDATE.
SECOND HEARING ANNOUNCED!
We need a strong show of support. The LPC may vote to deny or approve the developer’s application.
Tuesday, March 12 @ 10:55 (arrive 10:25 to sign in)
NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre St., Municipal Bldg @Chambers St, 9th fl.
Subways: 4, 5, 6 to Bklyn Bridge. J, M, Z to Chambers St. R to City Hall.
At the last LPC hearing, in September, six months ago, dozens of preservationists, architects, engineers, historians and neighbors joined City Council Member Rosie Mendez in their opposition to the proposed 9 story hotel due to:
a) The inappropriateness of its size and scale and disregard of its distinguished neighbor and
b) Potential serious damage to the fragile 1832 Merchant’s House Museum.
Not a single person testified in support of this proposal.
Although public testimony will not be accepted at this meeting, we need a good turnout this coming Tuesday to show the Commission that the community opposes this proposal and is concerned about its impact on the Merchant’s House Museum.
We urge you to attend.
And if you haven’t already, please email Chair Tierney asking the LPC to reject the developer’s proposal. Click here for our easy-peasy template letter. And please sign our petition.
September 12, 2012, UPDATE.
A THANK YOU TO ALL THE FRIENDS OF THE MERCHANT’S HOUSE!
A huge thank you to the legion of supporters that joined the staff, board, and volunteers of the Merchant’s House on September 11 at the Landmarks Preservation Commission public hearing on the proposed 9-story hotel at 27 East 4th Street. Our heartfelt thanks to Council Member Rosie Mendez, the Office of Senator Tom Duane, Doris Diether/Community Board #2, NYC Department of Parks, Historic House Trust, Greenwich Village Historic Preservation Society, Historic Districts Council, Bowery Alliance, New York Landmarks Conservancy, Friends of the Merchant’s House, and the thousands of others who have signed our petition and written letters to Commissioner Tierney.
But the fight is not over! We have another hearing ahead, yet to be scheduled. There is still time for you to help.
Please email Chair Tierney asking the LPC to reject the developer’s proposal. Click here for our easy-peasy template letter. And please sign our petition.
Here’s some of the great press we’ve gotten:
August 25 UPDATE: LPC public hearing and vote RESCHEDULED for Tuesday, September 11.
August 21 UPDATE: LPC public hearing and vote RESCHEDULED for Tuesday, September 4.
Cancel everything. We need you there. The Landmarks Preservation Commission will officially vote on the developer’s application. It’s our do or DENY moment. We need a strong show of support — standing room only! Time will be announced on Friday, September 1. We’ll keep you posted, here and on Facebook — ‘Like’ us, please (it’s also good for potential donors to see).
But we still need letters. PLEASE send a letter or email Chair Tierney asking the Landmarks Preservation Commission to reject the developer’s proposal. Click here for our easy-peasy template letter.
And please sign our petition. And pass along to your friends to write letters and sign, too.
Have we mentioned that fighting developers isn’t in our current budget?
Please consider sending a donation. We thank you for your support.
July 19 UPDATE. LPC hearing scheduled for Tuesday, July 24, has been POSTPONED, for the 4th time.
June 28 UPDATE: LPC public hearing — and vote — RESCHEDULED for TUESDAY, JULY 24.
June 15 UPDATE: LPC hearing on June 19 POSTPONED.
The LPC public hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, has been laid over. We don’t know why yet. And a new date has not been set.
May 25 UPDATE
We are thrilled to report that last evening the full board of Community Board 2 approved the Landmarks Committee resolution against the proposed development of a 9-story hotel next door. We thank the Community Board for going the extra mile last night to make denial of the developer’s application that much stronger. We are deeply grateful.
May 15 UPDATE
At a meeting on Monday, May 14, the Landmarks Committee of Community Board 2 REJECTED the developer’s application citing the extreme fragility of the Merchant’s House and the critical need to ensure its structural integrity. CB2 is also recommending the Landmarks Preservation Commission look to 4 stories, not 9 stories, as a historical context for any development.
Thanks to all who came out for the cause: 75 Museum supporters (under 100 in the room), a petition with 1,300+ signatures, a daunting line-up of preservation organizations/experts who spoke — and our heroine, Council Member Rosie Mendez.
Read all about it!
New NoHo Building Proposal Could Threaten Merchant’s House Museum June 7, 2012
DNAinfo.com: “Bid to Add Building Beside Historic Merchant’s House Museum Voted Down”
Curbed.com: “Preservationists Fear Merchant’s House Safety With Hotel Plan”
TheRealDeal.com: “East Village Hotel Plan Nixed by Community Board.”
http://www.thevillager.com/?p=4671 “Hotel Opposition Sells CB2 on Saving Merchant’s House”