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Willem de Kooning's former Union Square home may be saved from the wrecking ball

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The Landmarks Commission has decided to consider the buildings for designation

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Plans to bring a 14-story addition to the former home and studio of artist Willem de Kooning, near Union Square, will have to wait now that the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has decided to consider it for designation.

The Commission decided to calendar the pair of cast iron buildings at 827-831 Broadway on Tuesday morning. That means the commission will ultimately hold a public hearing on the buildings’ designation and subsequently vote on it (one way or the other) within one year from now.

Investors Samson Klugman and Leo Tsimmer had purchased these buildings, built in 1866, for $60 million in August 2015, according to The Real Deal. Last year they revealed plans to bring a 14-story retail and office building to the site. At present, the four-story buildings are set up with retail on the ground floor and apartments above. Earlier this year it was revealed that the developers were renovating the existing residences in the building, with the office project slated to get underway later.

Now, thanks largely to the effort of local preservation groups, any alteration or addition to the building will have to wait until the Landmarks Commission renders its decision. The LPC had initially rejected a request put forward by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation to consider designating the building.

However a concerted effort from the GVSHP made the Commission change its mind, and now, very possibly, de Kooning’s former home could soon become NYC’s latest landmark.

“Some of the greatest art of the 20th century was made in these buildings,” Andrew Berman, the executive director of the GVSHP, said in a statement. “Some of the greatest innovations in 19th century commerce were sold here. We were literally facing the wrecking ball, with demolition permits approved but not issued, when the City finally responded to our call and started the landmarking process.”