Fight for your right…to get historic sites landmarked? Developer Stephan Boivin has filed for demolition permits for an “1824 federal style house” recently purchased from Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz, according to a statement from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. The Beastie Boy’s former residence is at 186 Spring Street in the proposed South Village Historic District. GVSHP reports the developer previously made a public statement “promising to preserve the structure,” saying it would be kept for his personal use. The permit now requests full demolition.
According to GVSHP’s Executive Director Andrew Berman, his group has brought this to the attention of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Berman says the LPC agreed to consider this part of the district years ago, and his group urges them to do so now to save the “historic site.” The LPC has thus far refused to consider the remainder of the district a landmark site.
The house GVSHP hopes to preserve is part of a group of surviving federal style houses all built in the same year. According to the organization’s research, “though altered, the house still has the Flemish-bond brick and two or three stories plus dormer form characteristic of federal-style (1790-1835) houses.” Horovitz sold the house in April of this year.
Not only does Boivin want the property demolished, he aims to combine it with another development site at 182 Spring Street. The GVSHP provides the facts about the South Village. In March it was designated one of the seven most important and threatened historic sites in NY State. In 2006 the GVSHP submitted a proposal for historic district designation of the South Village. Four years later a third of the proposed district was landmarked, but since the LPC has taken no action on the issue.
Since then several sites in the district have been demolished. Berman released a statement on the prospective demolition of this site: “This can either be yet another case of the city sitting on its hands while the character of one of New York’s great historic neighborhoods is destroyed, or the Landmarks Preservation Commission can finally keep its promise and fulfill its duty by protecting the remainder of the proposed South Village Historic District.”
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