Advocacy Update: FRIENDS joins Preservation Groups and Elected Officials Protest Demolitions of Landmarked Buildings

On December 15th, FRIENDS joined fellow preservationists, community leaders, and elected officials at a press conference at City Hall to bring attention to the recent demolitions of landmarked and soon-to-be-landmarked buildings across the city, and to demand action from the city to do more to protect historic buildings. Participating organizations included Village Preservation, the Historic Districts Council, Save Harlem Now!, the Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association, and Justice for 441 Willoughby (Bedford Stuyvesant).

Last year, FRIENDS protested the demolition of 21 East 65th Street, a historic building located in the Upper East Side Historic District, which was adversely affected by construction activity after the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the incorporation of its façade into a new building. The entire façade except for the two-story base was subsequently demolished and with it the Upper East Side lost yet another piece of its history. This loss has been compounded more recently with demolition of the Dangler Mansion in Bedford-Stuyvesant, 14 Gay Street in Greenwich Village, nine 1840s landmarked houses in the Gansevoort Market Historic District, and 186 Lenox Avenue in Harlem, among others, making it critical to demand that the City enforces the law to protect historic landmarks.



Preservation groups hold press conference at City Hall to protest demolition of landmarked buildings -- images courtesy of Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

Corner of Madison Avenue and East 65th. 19 East 65th Street still stands while number 21 has been mostly demolished. The outline of the demolished building can be seen on the recently-exposed facade of its neighbor. At the corner stood 760 Madison Avenue, a 1996 building designed by architect Peter Marino, which was demolished as part of the construction of the new residential building.

Clockwise from top left: 14 Gay Street; the former Dangler Mansion in Bedford-Stuyvesant; 351-55 West 14th Sreet/ 44-54 Ninth Avenue in the Meatpacking District