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Riverside Drive Arches Safe, But Upper West Side Developers Aren't

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The alarm was sounded on the Upper West Side when it looked like workers were stripping the arches from the facade of the condo-converted pre-war building at 230 Riverside Drive. Both the Landmarks Preservation Commission and Department of Buildings were called in to investigate whether the old "facade repair" permit granted to the building allowed such a thing, and now neighborhood preservation group Landmark West! has added this update in the comments:

The decorative terra cotta arches beloved by the building’s neighbors—and understandably so!—will be safely stored during restoration work and later returned to their original positions. In limited instances that the terra cotta is beyond repair, the original design will be replicated. Phew! So the coast is clear. Was the immediate sense of panic unwarranted? Well, we understand why UWS preservationists are so on edge these days.

230 Riverside is slated to be included in the highly controversial Riverside-West End Historic District, and many in the neighborhood fear that developers and landlords are going to be up to all sorts of shenanigans before the Landmarks Preservation Commission approves the various extensions of the current protected zone. The Wall Street Journal reports on the situation today, specifically two projects: 508-510 West End Avenue, and 732-734 West End Avenue. In both plans, old buildings give way to new condo developments, and in the case of 732-734 the old has already been demolished, which led to much hubbub in the neighborhood and the cries for an expanded historic district. The developers are worried that their plans will be doomed and they'll be out millions, but being put through the Landmarks ringer can't be that bad, right?
· Minor Repairs Become Major Surgery at Pre-War UWS Tower? [Curbed]
· Pushing the Limits of History [WSJ]