Yesterday was a big day for historic preservation in the city as the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted on seven new individual landmarks and a historic district extension, approving all of them. The newly designated West End-Collegiate Historic District Extension more than doubles the size of the original 150-building historic district (designated in 1984), adding 220 buildings on the east and west sides of West End Avenue between West 70th and 79th Streets. Many of the buildings in the district extension were designed as single-family row houses in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by some of the city's most prominent residential architects, such as C.P.H. Gilbert, Henry J. Hardenbergh, Clarence True and George F. Pelham.
Among the seven new individual landmarks designated was the Forest Park Carousel in Queens, which became the city's first landmarked carousel. It was manufactured in 1910 by D.C. Muller & Brother, known for their intricately carved, life-like horses, and is one of only two Muller carousels left
in the city anywhere. Also designated were the Jamaica Learning Center (formerly Jamaica High School), an elaborate school building built in 1896 and designed by prominent Brooklyn architect William B. Tubby; 140 Broadway (formerly the Marine Midland Bank), a 1968 51-story minimalist matte black aluminum and mullion-free, bronze-tinted glass skyscraper designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; the Church of St. Paul the Apostle at 8 Columbus Avenue; the New York Public Library, Seward Park Branch; the Hotel Grand Union (formerly the Hotel St. Louis) at 34 East 32nd Street; Hamilton Heights' Beaumont Apartments; and the Catherina Lipsius House in Bushwick.
The commission also heard presentations and received public testimony on a new batch of potential landmarks, including seven buildings, another district extension (more on that later), and an interior—the Steinway & Sons Reception Room & Hallway at 109-113 West 57th Street. Of the individual landmarks being considered, the most prominent was Tammany Hall at 100 East 17th Street, which drew a lot of public support and seems to be a foregone conclusion. Only two items drew any sort of opposition, and in both cases that opposition came from the owners. The co-op board at 39 Worth Street claimed that it would be more difficult to do necessary repairs and maintenance with landmark status, and the owner of the Peter J. Huberty in Bushwick made similar claims.
· Landmarks Commission press release (warning: pdf)