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In Greenwich Village, new residential buildings to replace low-rise storefronts

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Two residential buildings—six and seven stories high—will replace the existing one-floor structures at the neighborhood’s historic district

Courtesy of Landmarks Preservation Commission, Morris Adjmi Architects, and Higgins Quasebarth & Partners

Following a public presentation on Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the demolition of two buildings in the Greenwich Village Historic District. The buildings at 179 and 181 MacDougal Street, close to West 8th Street, will be replaced by six- and seven-story buildings with storefronts, as part of a residential project developed by Clinton Eight Realty. The project also includes installing a storefront on 177 MacDougal Street.

Morris Adjmi of Morris Adjmi Architects, who designed the project, and Jonathan Taylor of Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, who consulted on the historic preservation aspect, presented a design proposal that had gotten modest tweaks from a version shown to the LPC on February 5. During the previous hearing, commissioners had expressed concern regarding differentiation of the storefronts and the shape of the 8th Street facade.

The project will preserve important details of the buildings in the area; for instance, the iron screen on the first floor of 177 MacDougal will be repaired, repainted, and reinstalled. Other details that follow the style of the area include the use of red and beige brick—similar to the current structure—and cast stone materials.

All of the LPC commissioners voted to approve the project, except for Michael Goldblum, who expressed concern about one of the building’s height: “I felt last time—I think I still feel that [the building is] a story too high. West 8th Street is mostly dominated, especially on the side, by five- or four-story buildings.”

The one-story structures that currently sit on the corner of MacDougal and West 8th streets were built for commercial purposes in 1937: 181 MacDougal Street (36-38 West 8th Street) was designed by Leon & Levy, and 179 MacDougal (40-42 West 8th Street) was designed by H.I. Feldman.

“I’m very excited that we got approved, I’m looking forward to building the project,” Morris Adjmi told Curbed.