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Village House With Kooky History & Facade Is Saved, For Now

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A Greenwich Village house by architect Hugh Hardy with a star-crossed history will not get an 11-foot rooftop extension, a cellar and a new rear facade—at least not yet, the Landmarks Commission ruled Tuesday. The house at 18 West 11th Street has a truly checkered past. Once the home of a founder of Merrill Lynch and the birthplace of his son, the poet James Merrill, the venue of choice for wild Broadway parties, and, most famously, the site of an accidental bomb detonation by members of activist group Weather Underground in 1970.

The rebuilt house, designed by Hardy and constructed in the late 70s, features a distinctive angular front that wouldn't be changed by the proposal (and didn't deter the buyer who shelled out $9.25M for the place last year). Hardy and his associates at H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture presented a new design for the roof that they stressed would not be visible from the front of the house, but in the end it was commissioners' disapproval of the new rear facade that sunk their plans. After two members of the community said they didn't like the new look of the back side of the house, the Commission asked Hardy to go back to the drawing board with an eye towards incorporating the house's existing rear.

—Tobias Salinger
· Exploded Village House With Hard-Won Facade May Be Gutted [Curbed]
· All 18 West 11th Street coverage [Curbed]