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Nomad buildings in line for landmarking get unanimous public backing

Both buildings date back to the early 20th century when the neighborhood began transitioning away from residential development

Joe Strini/PropertyShark

A pair of Nomad buildings from the early 20th century that are being considered for landmark status received unanimous public support at a hearing held at the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday.

The public support was expected—local residents have long called for the expansion of the existing Madison Square North Historic District—but what was slightly unexpected perhaps was the wholehearted support of the owners of the two buildings. Owners may incur more costs and headaches of maintaining a landmarked building, and may often oppose designation, but that wasn’t the case with these Nomad buildings.

Meenakshi Srinivasan, the chair of the Landmarks Commission, lauded the owners of the Emmet Buildings, and the Hotel Seville, now known as the James New York Nomad, for their collaboration with the Landmarks Commission.

About a dozen people spoke in favor of designating both buildings, and the applications also received the support of local elected officials like state senator Liz Krueger, and City Council member Ben Kallos.

“It contributes significantly to the historic fabric of the area,” said Judy Olsen, the secretary of the community group 29th Street Neighborhood Association, of the former Hotel Seville.

“This is an incredibly beautiful building and it has been beautifully maintained,” added Srinivasan on the Neo-Renaissance Emmet Building.

The Commission will hold a separate hearing in the coming months where the Commissioners will vote one way or another.