Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Community: YES! We Support West End Avenue Historic District Extension!

By Cristiana P.

The hearing room was filled to capacity (and beyond!) yesterday as the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) held the first of, ultimately, three public hearings to seriously consider historic district extensions on West End Avenue.

West Side residents and business and property owners, community advocates, and those who recognize the value of preserving our city's architectural resources came out in force to show their support of the proposed Riverside Drive-West End Avenue Historic District Extension I.  Following a call to order by Chair Robert Tierney of the LPC and a brief overview of the proposed extension's history by LPC Research Department staff (Maryann Percival and Mary Beth Betts), the hearing was opened to the public.

The LPC public hearing room (and the ante room beyond!) filled to capacity!

Over the course of the public hearing--lasting nearly three hours--close to fifty people addressed the LPC.  Together, our overwhelming presence and testimony sent the message loud and clear: The community supports expanded landmark designation on West End AvenueTo all of our friends and neighbors who came to the LPC; who waited patiently as the West End Avenue hearing was delayed; who took to the podium to testify; who sat as "silent supporters" of the West End Avenue proposal; who wrote emails and letters in absentia; and who helped spread the word about yesterday's public hearing far and wide ...

... THANK YOU!  This tremendous effort could not have been such a success without your dedication and support.  Extra-special thanks to our colleagues at the West End Preservation Society (WEPS, under the incomparable leadership of Richard Emery and Erika Petersen) and the league of other West Side neighborhood groups for rallying their friends and neighbors living, working and owning property in the proposed district extensions.  Sincere thanks as well to our elected officials for their strong support of this important issue.

Left to right: Council Member Gale Brewer, LW! Executive Director Kate Wood, and
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer each testify before the LPC in support of the designation.
The journey is far from over! The LPC will take into consideration the range of testimony provided at public hearing yesterday (as well as letters and emails submitted) and continue their outreach to the community before they make any final decision.  As soon as the LPC releases additional information about their next action on this proposed extension, LANDMARK WEST! will sound the alert.  Stay tuned!

But we're certainly not resting on our heels in the meantime.  As the LPC continues to work through "next steps" for the Riverside Drive-West End Avenue Historic District Extension I, we must begin to rally for the second of these West End Avenue public hearings!  On Tuesday, June 28th, the LPC will hold a public hearing for the West End-Collegiate Historic District Extension (encompassing West 70th to 79th Streets, anchored by West End Avenue).  Stay tuned for more information on this public hearing, as well as public information sessions in advance of this event.

In the meantime, if you haven't already ...

Add your name to the list of those who support the West End Avenue historic district extensions.  The petition will be submitted to the LPC at next Tuesday's public hearing.

Couldn't make the public hearing?  Stay tuned to our YouTube channel for video of the public testimony and, for photos, to our Flickr photostream. 

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