The Landmarks Preservation Commission has gone toe-to-toe with the mighty Robert De Niro, but the Cobble Hill Association alleges that a sensitive Brooklyn songstress, one Norah Jones, just manipulated the powerful LPC into doing her bidding. Jones paid $4.9 million for an Amity Street townhouse in January, a lovely Greek Revival-style home in the Cobble Hill Historic District that, and here's the issue, could really use some windows on that blank side wall (right). Jones sent contractors before the LPC last summer to get approval for minor interior renovations. Months later, the Post reports, the contractors submitted an amended plan calling for 10 windows to be cut out of the side wall. Not a minor makeover, but one that was apparently treated as such by LPC staffers, who approved it without a public hearing. Now the Cobble Hill Association, which argues the windows aren't architecturally appropriate, is all in a tizzy. They say Jones used her celebrity influence to charm the LPC, and the design "sets a dangerous precedent" in the historic district. They've been sending Jones catty e-mails and are threatening a lawsuit claiming the brick wall's foundation is weak and can't support windows. Expect to find out how this all played out on the next confessional and tortured Norah Jones album.
· Neighbors bash Norah's window-in-brick trick [NYP]