LPC Chair Takes Walking Tour in Murray Hill to View 29 Buildings Submitted for Landmark Designation
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
By: Elaine Silber, Co-Chair P&D Committee
On a sunny August morning, Sarah Carroll, the new Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission and two senior members of her staff joined several members of the Preservation & Design Committee for a walking tour of Murray Hill. The purpose of the tour was to showcase 29 buildings that the P & D Committee had originally submitted to the LPC in 2016 for New York City landmark designation. After reviewing the list of buildings at that time, the LPC decided that only 3 buildings were worthy of possible landmark designation.
With a recent change in leadership at the LPC, the P & D Committee decided to resubmit the list of 29 buildings to the new Chair. We believe that the buildings, all on the National Register of Historic Places, deserve landmark status based on their architectural, historical and social significance. With recent rezoning laws that have allowed ever taller buildings to encroach upon our neighborhood, the need to protect these historic buildings and the low-rise residential character of Murray Hill is greater than ever.
Among the buildings pointed out to Ms. Carroll and her colleagues was a group of Civil War era brownstones, a beautiful 27-story art deco apartment building on Park Avenue, an impressive brownstone building that once housed a former New York City mayor, and a church built in the first half of the twentieth century. Also included was a building from 1861 (The Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines’, Coast Guard and Airmen’s Club) that now caters exclusively to the armed forces and their families. This unique club is in financial trouble and the building is in peril of being sold. Landmarking would save it from possible destruction. All of the buildings are located in the area from 34th-39th Street and from Madison Avenue to near Third Avenue.
We were thrilled that Ms. Carroll and her colleagues accepted our invitation to come to the neighborhood and see the proposed buildings firsthand. We are confident that she and her Commission will give our list of buildings careful consideration for possible landmark status and we look forward to their decision.