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Spring Landmarking Fever Sweeps Preservation Commission

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In case the rest of the world doesn't have it circled on their calendars as the date to look forward to between President's Day and opening day, today was the Landmarks Preservation Commission's Spring Designation Day. The LPC considered approximately 847 properties for landmarking or public hearing, but here's the highlight reel. Four new landmarks were designated: Times Square's Brill Building (where some big jazz musicians once leased offices), Staten Island's Reformed Church, the Germania Fire Insurance Company Building at 357 Bowery, and the Bissell House at 46 West 55th Street. Once finished showering landmarky love on those four buildings, the LPC also voted to extend the UES historic district by 74 buildings on Lexington Avenue between East 63rd and East 76th streets. Sounds like a grand old time, right? But no LPC meeting can really be free of controversy.

The committee held a public hearing on the former Olivet Memorial Church, now the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection, where congregants trotted out the now familiar argument that a landmarks designation would cause financial hardship. Owners in the East Village's Gramercy House said the same. Will these spring showers bring preservation-scented flowers? Unclear, but the LPC folks tell us the proposal to landmark Coney Island's Shore Theater met with a much cheerier reception.
· The Groundhog Sees Four More Landmarks [LPC; warning: PDF]