When the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission approved redevelopment at 111 Noble Street, in early February, many Greenpoint residents were chagrined to hear that the LPC would allow a property well within the limits of the Greenpoint Historic district to be so distinctly altered. The approved plans call for a third floor and a penthouse to added to the existing structure, and an expansion on the back of the house.
Since the LPC made its decision, Members of the Noble Historic Block Association have been advocating for “for the restoration of and maintenance in scale of [the original building], a modest house on our landmarked block.” The group wrote in an email to Greenpointers, “The LPC’s recent approval for radical expansion of two additional floors plus elevator is, we fear, essentially going to result in demolition and rebuild. Not only are we concerned about this happening to this property, but also we’ve continued to voice our concern that it creates a precedent (or adds to a trend) of the LPC permitting radical development rather than preservation within Landmarked areas.”
The also took their concerns to City Hall, writing to Bill de Blasio and the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on March 23rd to express “urgent community concern” and opposition surrounding the LPC’s decision, noting, “the small scale of the home is itself historically significant in that it is reminiscent of when people of modest means, who most likely worked in the maritime trade, managed to stake a hard-won claim on a parcel of land and establish themselves in the city during this period. These small houses represent that part of NYC’s history, and should be honored and preserved.”
The letter goes on to ask, “Why is it acceptable for developers to heighten, extend, demolish and modernize, while homeowners in landmark districts are required to follow the letter of LPC law, often at great hardship?”
What do you think the LPC’s duty is here? Let us know!