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Union Square tech hub spurs LPC to consider 7 buildings for protection

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The buildings will be considered by commissioners at a public meeting on Tuesday morning

The group of buildings on Broadway that will be considered for landmark status.
Joe Strini/PropertyShark

Editor’s Note: this post was originally published on September 24, 2018.

UPDATE 9/25/2018: The city’s Landmarks Commission agreed to Calendar all seven buildings on Broadway near Union Square as part of a process to consider landmarking each of the buildings. In the coming months, the Commission will schedule a public hearing on the buildings where New Yorkers will be able to testify for or against the buildings. Following that, the Commission will schedule a vote to designate them.

Soon after the city announced plans to replace the P.C. Richard & Son store near Union Square with a 21-story tech training center, local residents and preservation groups renewed efforts to rezone the surrounding area to prevent an onslaught of large-scale development following the opening of the tech hub.

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) was at the forefront of these efforts and called for landmarks protections to 193 buildings south of Union Square.

Now a little over a year after that renewed push for protection, and just over a month after the tech training center was cleared to move forward by the City Council, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has agreed to consider seven buildings for individual landmark status.

All seven buildings are located on Broadway between East 12th and 14th Streets, and have the following addresses: 817, 826, 830, 832, 836, 840, and 841 Broadway. The LPC will offer an insight into why it picked these particular buildings at its weekly public hearing on Tuesday (stay tuned for our coverage after the meeting).

Andrew Berman, the executive director of the GVSHP, feels this is not enough. He said the LPC has only considered 3.6 percent of the buildings the group identified to protect. Berman called it “a fraction of a fraction of what this community was fighting for.” Berman went on to add that six of the seven buildings the LPC is considering are not even danger of being demolished.

During the public hearing tomorrow, the LPC will consider whether to calendar the buildings. Calendaring items is the first step in the landmarking process; if the building is calendared, the LPC will then hold a separate public hearing where people will be able to speak for or against designation. That will be followed by a vote at a separate date.