Monday, October 8, 2007

All Hands On Deck for West-Park Presbyterian Landmarks Consideration

On Thursday evening, October 11, Community Board 7 Parks and Preservation Committee members will meet for a presentation on West-Park Presbyterian Church and may consider a resolution supporting a NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission public hearing for the beloved building.

Citing its beauty and architectural significance, LANDMARK WEST! first petitioned the Landmarks Commission in 1985 to designate West-Park Presbyterian, which has graced the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and West 86th Street for over a century. The agenda for the October 11 CB7 meeting will include a presentation by Mosette Broderick (Director of the Urban Design and Architectural History Program at NYU) and colleagues on the building’s design by renowned architects Leopold Eidlitz and Henry Kilburn. Showing up and speaking up at the October 11 meeting is a great opportunity to voice your support and get the ball rolling toward landmark designation. (Click here for additional details and photos of the building. Read on for an architectural description of the building.)

Plan to attend the Thursday, October 11 evening meeting (schedule updates: http://www.cb7.org/commagendas.html). A CB7 resolution calling for a public hearing to consider designation of the building will show the landmarks commission that Upper West Side neighbors support landmark status for the church building.

Next step after October 11: If a resolution comes out of the October 11 CB7 Parks and Preservation committee meeting, a vote will follow at the full CB7 board meeting on Wednesday, November 7 (location TBA).

Architectural Significance:

In his 2003 letter to the Landmarks Commission, Andrew S. Dolkart (architectural historian, writer and the James Marston Fitch Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University) stated:

"The West-Park Presbyterian Church is unquestionably one of the most beautiful religious structures on the Upper West Side. The bold massing of this Romanesque Revival style building, the soaring tower anchoring the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and West 86th Street, and the extraordinary deep red sandstone cladding combine to create a building of singular power."

The West-Park Presbyterian Church was designed to stand out in the Upper West Side community. Its dramatic bell tower is a beacon to worshipers, and its red sandstone fa├žade kept pace with the highest fashion of the day. Indeed, West-Park may be the only example of a Richardsonian Revival-style church to survive in Manhattan.

Doesn’t this beautiful structure at least deserve a landmarks hearing?

Please call LANDMARK WEST! at (212) 496-8110 for additional information.

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