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Merchant's House Supporters Gear Up For Final Battle

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Architect Ed Carroll's proposal for a nine-story hotel next to the Merchant's House Museum will make its third appearance before the Landmarks Preservation Commission tomorrow and, although the hearing will not include public testimony, it will likely feature a large number of Merchant's House supporters making their presence felt. The supporters are convinced that the construction of the hotel will damage its 182-year-old neighbor—a statement on the Merchant's House website reads, "The new 9-story building would not only overwhelm the 180-year-old landmark Merchant's House and be strikingly inappropriate to the historic residential context of East 4th Street within the Noho Historic District, but the construction process for a building of this scale is absolutely guaranteed to damage the house." Ed Carroll and the developers, on the other hand, claimed at their last LPC presentation that they would take great pains to ensure that the Merchant's House was not damaged.

Interestingly, at that last hearing the Commission seemed less concerned with the potential damage to the Merchant's House than it did with the design of the new hotel, which was deemed un-contextual. One commissioner accused Carroll of allowing the top of the building to "wimp out," while another described the identical front and back facades as "lazy." It's also probably worth noting, as Bowery Boogie points out, that both Carroll and his partner, Constantine Fotos, have been convicted in separate criminal cases involving lying about construction projects. Carroll pleaded guilty to obstructing and misleading a grand jury in 2002 in a corruption case having to do with elevator contracts at the MTA headquarters. He served two years in prison and was forced to surrender his architect's license. Fotos pleaded guilty in 2005 to illegally removing asbestos from a construction site and to misleading a federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation. He served one year.
· 3rd hearing set tomorrow for proposed hotel next to the Merchant's House Museum [EVG]
· LPC Hearing Scheduled for 9-Story NoHo Hotel Tomorrow; Preservationists Rallying the Troops [Bowery Boogie]
· Reps of hotel project by Merchant's House have criminal past [Villager]
· Merchant's House coverage [Curbed]

27 East 4th Street

27 East 4th Street, New York, NY