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Landmarks Shoots Down Plan to Demolish Ladies Mile Buildings

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A plan to demolish two buildings at 51 and 53 West 19th Street and replace them with a 14-story residential tower was all but denied by the Landmark Preservation Commission at a hearing on Tuesday, Chelsea Now reports. The proposal from developer Panasia Estate and Smith-Miller and Hawkinson Architects was met with fierce opposition from preservation groups, who argued that although the two mid-19th century buildings had certainly seen better days, they were very much part of the character of the Ladies Mile Historic District. Eight of the nine commissioners agreed. "These are contributing buildings in a historic district, and it's the obligation of this commission to protect those buildings," said LPC Chair Robert Tierney, who went on to add, "I just haven't seen anything to show that these buildings are not structurally sound, and that they can't be repaired and creatively reused." Now it's up to Panasia and Smith-Miller and Hawkinson to figure out what to do next, but it seems highly unlikely that they'll get anything other than a restoration past the Commission.
· LPC Likely to Protect Ladies' Mile Buildings From Demolition [Chelsea Now]