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Huge New UWS Historic District Surprises Even Preservationists

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Though West End Avenue already has five small historic districts protecting many pre-war buildings, some folks feel that isn't enough. They don't want slices kept safe from developers, they want the whole pie taken off the windowsill. Led by a group called the West End Preservation Society, Upper West Side preservationists have been pushing hard to establish a historic district protecting all of West End Avenue from 70th Street to 109th Street. It's been a successful campaign, even as complaints have mounted that the area will be turned into a "mausoleum." Yesterday the Landmarks Preservation Commission held a meeting for neighborhood property owners in which the map of the potential Riverside-West End Historic District was revealed for the first time, and it's even bigger than what preservationists were dreaming of.

The map appears below (click to expand it), but what eventually gets calendered and approved by the LPC could wind up looking different. The stitching together and expansion of the existing historic districts would cover 745 additional buildings on West End Avenue and various sidestreets, a list compiled by the LPC after preservationists formally requested that the commission take a look. Today the West End Preservation Society alerted its followers to the good news, writing in an email:

Remarkably, the new district boundaries included not only the WEPS proposal but was expanded, by the LPC, to include the neighboring avenues of Riverside Dr, many blocks of the west side of Broadway and cross streets stretching from Riverside to Broadway from 70-109th Sts, for a count in the study area to exceed 700 buildings. WEPS looks forward to the LPC placing this district on their calendar quickly, so they can move ahead to the public hearings. That will bring them one step closer to a designation vote and the protection of the still vulnerable properties.Guess that mausoleum just keeps on growing!

· A New Beginning for West End Avenue [Archpaper]
· 'Historic' Battle for NYC [NYP]
· West End Avenue coverage [Curbed]