Testimony Before the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Regarding the Proposed Murray Hill Historic District Extensions on March 2, 2004
I am State Senator Liz Krueger and I represent the 26th Senatorial District, which includes Midtown and the East Side of Manhattan. Because of its architectural heritage and rich social history, Murray Hill is truly one the gems of my district and the City. The Murray Hill community has a long tradition of activism around issues of preservation that culminated in the designation of the Murray Hill Historic District in January, 2002. The extension of the District is a logical step in comprehensively preserving the architecture and identity of this residential enclave. The extension area was recently included in the State and National Registers of Historic Places, and its designation by the Landmarks Preservation Commission would further ensure the protection of Murray Hill’s historic and physical character.
Allow me to speak briefly about the proposed extension area and why I am lending my full support to its designation. Most of the buildings were built in the 1860s and are ornamented with features such as round-arched rusticated entrances, molded window lintels and sills, stoops and balconies with wrought and cast-iron railings, and a mansard roof with dormers. These buildings were homes to a Civil War hero, an illustrious reporter, a top foreign affairs official, several elite businessmen, and many doctors who owned houses in the district and maintained offices.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission found that the proposed extensions to the current historic district are linked by their scale, materials and details, as well as a rich social and cultural history. As long as this neighborhood is comprehensively preserved, it will remain one of the great opportunities to experience New York from its colonial origins through its Gilded Age splendor.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify today.