Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Landmarked! 711 West End Ave. and PS75/West Side Collab are approved in the Historic District.

P.S.75 represents at the LPC hearing
At a tense meeting of the Landmarks Preservation Commission this morning, the LPC approved the West End Ave. Historic District Extension, including the building at 711 West End Ave. and (in a reversal) the public school building containing PS 75 and West Side Collaborative.

The LPC excluded the school's playgrounds from the Historic District, and also left out many individual buildings, leaving us vulnerable to still more aggressive development -- but it was an important protection for the schools.

The LPC noted emails and letters calling for the public school block to be protected, coming to them from parents, community members, and elected officials. (The LPC didn't acknowledge the other calls from the community for a more transparent process of drawing the lines of the Historic District, and for the preservation of blocks that will now be even more vulnerable to high-priced development than before -- that effort was enormous.)

It's not yet clear what impact the LPC decision has on the construction at 711 West End Ave. Although some permits were apparently approved yesterday (just in time to avoid being subject to the LPC's ruling) it's not clear which ones, and what the developers' claims will be to push forward as-of-right construction.

The Historic District Council mapped the other blocks and buildings that were left out of the Historic District: