Robert Tierney, Chair
New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
One Centre Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10007
Dear Mr. Tierney:
I am writing to urge the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to begin the process of creating a South Village Historic District bounded by the areas designated in the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s (GVSHP) report, “The South Village: A Proposal for Historic District Designation.”
You know better than anyone how historic districts have been an important tool for maintaining the balance between responsible growth and historic preservation in our City While new developments are necessary to accommodate the influx of people who want to live and work here, we must preserve the character of the neighborhoods that make this such an attractive place to live and work in the first place.
As one of the few places where the architectural landscape, which played host to a succession of quintessential New York constituencies, remains virtually unaltered, the South Village is undeniably a neighborhood in need of historic district designation. The tenements, row houses, industrial lofts, and churches together form a cohesive and unique urban fabric—and they are clearly under threat, as evidenced by the recent destruction of the Tunnel Garage, the Circle in the Square Theater, and the Sullivan Street Playhouse. Other notable buildings in the proposed district face potential demolition, such as the West 3rd Street Fire Patrol House, for which I also recently requested designation.
The idea of creating a historic district in the South Village did not arise in a haphazard fashion. Indeed, GVSHP has worked on its proposal for years, through research and proactive consultation with community groups. It has been an important effort, which is why I allocated member initiative funding to the project, through the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Thank you for your consideration of this proposal. I appreciate LPC’s dedication to preserving our City’s heritage and look forward to continuing to work with you towards that end.
Thomas K. Duane
New York State Senator
cc: Andrew Berman, Executive Director, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation