The Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School's plan to do all sorts of funky things with the mid-block space between its historic brownstones on West 93rd and 94th Streets drew plenty of ire at a recent Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing, but yesterday the LPC unanimously approved the prep school's drastic rear-yard and cosmetic changes. One edit: The school dropped the height of that astroturf-covered platform from 16 feet to 13 feet, thereby slightly reducing its deadliness. Giving the school the green light wasn't the only big move by the LPC at yesterday's marathon meeting. In fact, 2/9/2010 was, dare we say, a blockbuster day o' fun for preservation geeks.
1) The big news out of Queens is that the LPC voted to hold a public hearing in March about designating an Addisleigh Park Historic District, a 426-building pocket of architectural significance near St. Albans. The area was a stronghold of African-American culture and was once home to Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, W.E.B. DuBois and Jackie Robinson. That's Jackie Robinson's house above, via ArchPaper. Who says the LPC doesn't care about Queens?
2) and 3) The LPC calendared Coney Island's Shore Theater (the Surf Avenue theater built in the '20s) and Gramercy House (an Art Deco apartment building at 235-237 East 22nd Street built in 1931) for landmark designation. A Shore Theater designation feels especially timely given all the uncertainty surrounding Coney Island's future.
4) Midtown's Penn Club at 30-32 West 44th Street (formerly the Yale Club) was designated a landmark. The 11-story red-brick mens' club was completed in 1901 and designed by veterans of the McKim, Mead & White firm (though not any of those headliners).
There's even more, yes more stuff that went down on the ninth floor of 1 Centre Street yesterday, including the landmarking of the Lower East Side's 143 Allen Street. Check out the LPC's press release for all the history-protectin' goodness.
· Yo Developers, Y'All Can't Fuck Wit These [LPC; warning: PDF]