51-53 West 19th Street Application to demolish and replace two existing buildings in the Ladies Mile Historic District.
At the regularly scheduled monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, March 13, 2014, the following resolution passed with a vote of 38 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:
WHEREAS, 51-53 West 19th Street are two buildings located in the Ladies Mile Historic District; and
WHEREAS, 51 West 19th Street is a 5-story dwelling constructed in 1854 and converted to commercial use in the 1895, with the current early 20th Century commercial style façade dating to 1924; and
WHEREAS, 53 West 19th Street is a 5-story dwelling constructed in 1854 and converted to commercial use in the 1890's, with the current early 20th Century commercial style façade dating to 1924; and
WHEREAS, Such buildings vividly "tell the story" of the district, due to their size, scale, configuration, and proximity to much larger scale loft buildings thus demonstrating the evolution of the neighborhood from its residential roots and its transformation into a major commercial hub; and
WHEREAS, It would be unprecedented to demolish two historic and "contributing" buildings in a designated landmark district; and
WHEREAS, It is reasonable to anticipate that an approval to demolish these particular buildings would open a floodgate of similar requests, in turn defeating the very purpose of designating a historic district; and
WHEREAS, Numerous members of the public were present to voice their support to protect the landmarked buildings and oppose their demolition; and
WHEREAS, There were discrepancies of fact between the applicant's testimony, the public's testimony and the public record that reflect poorly on the credibility of the application; therefore be it,
RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application to demolish 51-53 West 19th Street; and be it further
RESOLVED, Having voted to deny demolition of the subject buildings, Community Board Five elects not to evaluate the merits of, or comment on, the proposed, 14-story residential tower with a commercial base.