Manhattan is on its way to getting a new historic district. On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission calendared designation of the Sullivan-Thompson Historic District.
The district would include an area bound by West Houston Street on the north end and Watts Street on the south end, and bound by Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) on the west side and Thompson Street on the east side. Most of the eastern edge of the district would border the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District Extension. The northwest portion would bump up against the Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District. The MacDougal-Sullivan Gardens Historic District and South Village Historic District are both just a little north.
This new district would include 157 buildings. The area started as rowhouses in the early 19th century. It was mostly residential from the 1810s to the 1830s. A wave of immigration in the 1860s led to the enlargement of many houses and the replacement of some with tenements.
Twenty percent of the proposed district was constructed before 1840 and 15 percent was constructed after 1945. It includes five already-designated landmarks.
LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said there was a “very compelling persuasive basis” for this designating this area, which she called a “fascinating enclave” with a “distinct sense of place.”
“The move does not come a moment too soon, as this part of the South Village has seen intensifying development pressure in recent years, loss of historic buildings, and increasingly out-of-scale development,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), in a statement. “Adding to the concern, in recent years developers like Donald Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner has bought properties in the neighborhood such as 156 Sullivan Street, formerly the home of beloved neighborhood institution Joe’s Dairy.”
“The South Village contains an irreplaceable record of our city and country’s history, particularly its history of immigrants and innovators. In 2013 GVSHP got the entire South Village listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, and in 2012, we got the Preservation League of New York State to name the South Village one of its ‘Seven to Save’ – one of the seven most important endangered historic sites in New York State,” Berman added. “The South Village contains an unrivalled collection of early 19th century rowhouses and late 19th/early 20th century tenements of every configuration and style that tell the story of the last great wave of immigration to New York City.”
The next step is a public hearing, to be held on November 29. A vote must be held by November 29 of 2018.
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