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Bowery Building Owner Lashes Out Against Landmarking

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Guess who was just as surprised as we were that the Landmarks Preservation Commission took emergency action to preserve the 19th-century Federal house at 135 Bowery? The building's owner, Ricky Wong, whose plans for a four-story addition to the building were approved by the Department of Buildings five months ago. Since then he's hired an architect and gutted the inside of the building, but now his plans are in limbo, and he's not happy. "I don't want it to be a landmark building," Wong tells the Observer, "Then all my money is gone." Wong feels his building, which he bought in 2003, is an ugly duckling that shouldn't swim with the swans: "The outside of the building looks ugly. I don't see any reason to make it a landmark. The front wall of the building is too old. The windows, the walls—they leak water. The windowpanes are all old. It's all broken." Buyer's remorse?
· Gut Punch! Landmarks Halts Bowery Renovation, Owner Incensed [NYO]
· Landmarks Commission Rushes to the Aid of Historic Bowery Houses [Curbed]