Tuesday, December 15, 2015

LW! Blog

Thank you for visiting LANDMARK WEST!'s blog! 

Our blog has moved to our brand-new website. 
Please click here to go to our new blog, or visit landmarkwest.org/blog 
See you soon!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Born a Landmark?

While buildings in NYC seem to come and go--and with increasing expedience--it is very rare for major alterations to take place within an historic district.  The Upper West Side has 12 such districts, and when word first came of demolition plans, our Certificate of Appropriateness Committee was guarded.
The West End Collegiate School had announced plans to relocate to Freedom Place in Riverside South, thus vacating their campus on West 78th Street.  The West End Collegiate Church (Robert W. Gibson, 1892-3) and adjoining original school building, individual landmarks outside of the district West End Collegiate Historic District Extension scooped up the buildings to create a lot merger and hoped to redevelop the sites as a residential venture.  Understanding their long-standing significant role as stewards of their congregation and as long-time UWS neighbors, they sought a proposal that would serve everyone's interests, and with architect Rick Cook and his team, put forth a proposal that Landmarks Commissioner John Gustaffson recognized as one that was not extreme, "not excessive, not unnecessary, and not bloated".

The process, which was approved yesterday, will entail restoring 378 West End Avenue, a former apartment hotel, converted by the school to educational uses back to residential.  This will bring back wood frame windows, complete the cornice crest and recreate lost balconettes and entry doors.  It would also entail demolishing the 1965-67 Ballard Todd Associates Platen Hall which received a 1990 topper by Helpern Architects.  The new proposal creates a cascading residence that holds its own on 78th street, but wraps the Schwartz and Gross 378 WEA building and provides a backdrop to the Gibson church, illuminating it in the process.

LANDMARK WEST! was supportive in our testimony as were many of the other advocacy groups.  Even House of Representatives Congressman Jerrold Nadler wrote in support of the project.  The LPC approved the proposal which creates and interesting technicality.  This building, fully within the district will be literally built as a landmark.  Almost like being born into royalty, its presence in the district will afford it all of the protections of the Landmarks Preservation Commission under the law.

The COOKFOX design has staying power and looks to be a great anchor for the site, both as foreground and background building.  The West End Collegiate School will stay on site into 2018 before demolition begins.  We will keep you posted as the project progresses.  Proceeds of the project will go to endow the church and fund a restoration of the original Robert W. Gibson buildings.  

Thursday, December 3, 2015

It's not every day the mail brings a letter from a four-star U.S. General...

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Gene A. Norman testifying in 1984 to protect the NYC Landmarks Law.
Credit: Albany Press, January 1984

It's not every day the mail brings a letter from a four-star U.S. General...
let alone a former Secretary of State!

Do join us for this well-deserved tribute to 
former Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair

Gene A. Norman

Monday, December 14, 2015
6:00 to 8:00 pm
Landmark on the Park
Fourth Universalist Society

76th Street and Central Park West
For ticket prices and online reservations, 
please visit Eventbrite


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Run with LW! United Airlines NYC Half Marathon


LANDMARK WEST! is an Official Charity Partner for the 2016 United Airlines NYC Half Marathon! We have received five entries in the Half-Marathon and we want you to run with us to support LW! and our mission: to promote awareness of the Upper West Side’s special character and to cultivate civic pride around priceless historic treasures.