43-45 W. 86 Street (Chabad)

Address: 43-45 W. 86 Street Between Columbus and Central Park West
Block:
1200
Lot:
10
Landmark Status:
Yes
Current Status:

Contact:

Chabad of the West Side
101 West 92nd Street,
New York, NY 10025
212-864-5010

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Summary of Site Plans and Status

UPDATE: 8/10/09

Chabad of the West Side Synagogue and Pre-School seeks to renovate and reconfigure two existing residential brownstones to house a Jewish day school.  The brownstones, which are located in a landmark district, are still occupied by some tenants despite the fact that they have received eviction notices.  Chabad’s plans call for demolition of the buildings’ interiors and expansion into the rear-yard area.  The facdes of the buildings would be maintained.  Community Board 7 voted down Chabad’s plans to alter the buildings on June 2, 2009.

120 West 86 Street (Stonehenge West)

Address: 120 West 86 Street

Landmark Status: No

Block: 1216

Lot: 140

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Summary of the site plans and status

According to the New York Post (January 18, 2006):

Stonehenge West was bought in November 2004 by Ofer Yardeni and Joel Seiden of Stonehenge Partners, Inc. for $16.5 million. They then renovated some of the apartments and the lobby, and sold the building, with 47 units, to Jane Goldman for $28 million in 2005. Twenty apartments are vacant or free market, and Goldman will use them as rentals. The Goldman family will continue to operate this property as a rental. There are also 13,028 feet of air rights if the owner wants to add a penthouse to the roof.

This magnificent twelve story elevator building was built in 1912 and contains 47 residential units comprising 50,000 square feet. The property is located on the south side of 86th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues in the heart of the Upper West Side, just one block from Central Park. This building is situated on one of the few “two-way” streets in Manhattan and has excellent transportation accessibility with a major subway station located on the corner at 86th Street and Broadway that makes both local and express stops along the entire West Side.”

330 West 86 Street

Address: 330 West 86 Street
Block: 1247
Lot: 49
Landmark status: No

Contact:

Barbara Flynn, Executive Director
NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development
100 Gold Street, Rm 5-G3
New York, NY 10038
(T)212-863-7901
(F)212-863-7450

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Summary of site plans and status

Update: 2/6/2007
Community Board 7/Manhattan voted to support the intent of the UDAAP sale to conserve the existing building at 330 West 86th Street.

This property was seized by the City of New York for tax purposes. Pursuant to the Urban Development Action Area Act (UDAA), the City of New York sold the property at below market value to the residing tenants of the property under the stipulations that said tenants would bring the building up to building codes and conserve the building for future use. Within 18 months of sale, tenants sold the property at a substantial profit to a developer, who now plans to build a 15 story apartment building in its place.

This was taken to court by the neighbors of 330 West 86 Street. The Appellate Court ruled in favor of the developers. The case is being appealed by the plaintiffs, citing the UDAA as barring the developers from destroying the property, citing the “conservation” stipulation that was agreed upon when the property was originally sold. The appeal was argued at the Appeals Court on February 13, 2007. According to HPD, the Court ruled that the building cannot be knocked down and the site built upon, though it can be sold.

38 West 86 Street (Bard Graduate Center for Studies in Decorative)

Address: 38 West 86 Street
Block : 1199 Lot: 54
Landmark Status: No

Contact

Susan Soros, President Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture
36 West 86 Street
New York, NY 10024
Phone: 212-501-3000
generalinfo@bgc.bard.edu
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Summary of site plans and status

Update: 5/1/2007
Community Board 7/Manhattan approved the proposed renovations by Bard College at 36 West 86th Street. Renovations will include restoration of the facade of the building in a historic manner.
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As of October 2006, the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture was planning to expand. The BGC bought 38 West 86 Street, a brownstone building located next to its current location. Expansion plans are under consideration as of August 13, 2007.

38 West 86 Street

300 West 86 Street (4 Extell Development Condominiums)

Address: 300 West 86th, 537 West End Ave, 535 West End Ave, 533 West End Ave
Block No: 1247
Lot No: 36
Landmark status: no

Contact

George Arzt
George Arzt Communications, Inc.

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Summary of site plans and status

UPDATE: 4/18/08
Extell has tried to respond to community concerns regarding the 20 car accessory parking garage. Extell states they will do the following:

– Post a garage attendant at the garage entrance for 4 hours each day during the week. The attendant will stop cars while children are walking past the entrance.
– Narrow the driveway and garage door as permitted by the Department of City Planning. If permitted by City Planning the drive-way will be reduced to 15 feet.
– Customized garage door to reflect the character of the neighborhood.
– Extell will use state-of-the-art warning devices that cannot be heard or seen beyond a narrow area around the garage entrance to protect pedestrians, but not disturb neighbors.
– Install turntables at each level of the garage to ensure smooth maneuverability.
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UPDATE: 3/25/08
A joint Transportation/Land Use Committee for Community Board 7 DISAPPROVED the application for a curb cut on West 86 Street. The next step in the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) is Borough President review. The Borough President has thirty (30) days to review and act on the curb cut application.
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UPDATE: 2/27/08
The Land Use Committee for Manhattan Community Board 7 will continue its review of the application on March 19, 2008 at 7 PM.
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UPDATE: 2/11/08
The City Planning Commission certified Extell Development Company’s special permit application for an accessory garage in conjunction with a new 20-story building and the application for authorization of a new curb cut on West 86 Street. The 60-day community board review period has begun for both applications (2/20/08 to 4/21/08).

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UPDATE: 12/19/2007
Pre-certification presentation (i.e. so far informational only) on applications #C080153ZSM and #N080154ZAM by the Extell Development Company to the Department of City Planning for a 20-space accessory parking garage and authorization of a curb cut on a “wide street” (i.e. West 86th Street).

Paul Selver of Kramer Levin, attorney for Extell, made the presentation. Gary Barnett and Donna Gargano of Extell were also present.

The building is as-of-right (using development rights acquired from adjacent 302 West 86th Street). It will be red brick and limestone, 20 stories (210 feet + 12 mechanicals), with 27 apartments. Current “as-of-right” regulation allows 9 parking spaces. The application is for an automobile elevator and stackers in the cellar and sub cellar to provide a total of 20 spaces (+ required 4 reserves). Operational plan not decided, but looking at training building employees for parking duty. Curb cut would be on West 86th Street, which requires a special permit from City Planning. Applicant claims that wealthy residents will have cars (“reality”) and local public garages are at capacity for overnight parking.

Members of the public were concerned about curb cut, warning bells, and signage. Applicant hopes to return to the Committee(s) in January for ULURP.

Extell Development Company bought four small buildings at West End Avenue and 86th Street. The site will hold a 21-story condominium building (the zoning restricts building to a verticle of 210 ft, meaning the site could hold up to a 21-story apartment tower). Nearby buildings are 12 to 15 stories, and there is a 20-story apartment house at West 87th Street.The site is currently under construction.

165 West 86 Street (West Park Presbyterian Church)

Address: 165 West 86 Street
Block: 1217
Lot: 1
Landmark status: No

Contact

Tom Vitullo-Martin, Co-Chair
Friends of West Park Church
210 West 86th Street
New York, NY 10024
(212) 580-0383

Reverend Robert Brashear
West Park Presbyterian Church
165 West 86th Street
New York, NY 10024
(212) 362- 4890

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Summary of site plans and status

UPDATE: 11/07/2007
Community Board 7/Manhattan requests that the Landmarks Preservation Commission calendar an immediate hearing on the proposed designation of West-Park Presbyterian Church as an Individual Landmark.

In need of funding to repair its aging building, the Church’s building committee approached Related Companies to explore renovation options. Related Companies proposed to demolish the existing structure and build a 23-story condominium tower with new space for the church at the corner of the site. When neighbors learned of Related’s plan, they organized Friends of West Park to create an alternate plan and raise funds to support it. Each member of the congregation is expected to vote on one of the two plans with finalization left up to the Presbytery, a legislative meeting of representatives from the churches.

The proposed plan was to rebuild and restore the Sanctuary, create new classrooms and other facilities for mission outreach, create new classrooms and other multi-use spaces for community use, create new affordable housing rental units, and create new market-rate housing. The new structure was proposed to be no taller than other buildings in the area, such as the building mid-block across the street from the church on West 86 Street. The new preservation plan has been approved by the Presbytery as of December 2005.

As of January 2008, the current development plans proposed by Richman Development have been approved by the congregants at West Park Presbyterian Church and by the Presbytery.

Future development on this site is unclear.

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UPDATE: 8/04/09

The Landmarks Preservation Commission held a hearing on landmarking West Park Church on July 14th, 2009.  Council Member Brewer delivered testimony in support of landmarking the site, which can be found below.

TESTIMONY BEFORE THE LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISSION
JULY 14, 2009
Council Member Gale A. Brewer, 6th District, West Side of Manhattan

RE:    263 W. 86th Street (West-Park Presbyterian Church)

I thank Chairman Tierney and the Landmarks Preservation Commission members for the opportunity to testify today.

My name is Gale A. Brewer and I represent the residents of the West Side of Manhattan, from West 54 Street to West 96 Street, in the City Council.

The original structure of West Park Presbyterian Church was built in 1882, but was remodeled in 1889 by noted church architect Henry F. Kilburn to accommodate an expanding congregation. The church is a rare, perhaps unique example of the Richardsonian Romanesque style, and has been called “one of New York City’s great architectural treasures” by architect Lee Harris Pomeroy.

Although we in New York are often accused of not looking beyond our borders, I would like to call to the Commission’s attention for a moment to the city of Boston: conjure up the remarkable vista of  Copley Square in the heart of old Back Bay, and its pair of famous landmarked Romanesque churches. West Park Presbyterian could easily stand beside them in distinction and scale. It belongs, in other words, to concerns that are larger than those of West Side or New York, and is part of a canon of American church architecture whose ensemble is of value not only here but to our national heritage.

The church’s robust, red sandstone façade, heavy, round arches and distinctive bell tower make it an integral part of the neighborhood’s architectural landscape. While there is no doubt that the building is in dire need of renovations, a 2001 Resource Evaluation by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation noted, “the church maintains an exceptionally high level of integrity of setting, design, materials, craftsmanship feeling and association on both the exterior and interior.” We note that the church also occupies all of its original site, and that because of its corner setting it provides unobstructed full views of the entire sanctuary and its remarkable tower.

In addition to West Park’s architectural grandeur, the building is also of considerable historical significance, as noted by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic preservation in its evaluation.  A former pastor at the church was responsible for translating Werner Sombart’s writings on socialism into English. In addition, the church was the original home of Joseph Papp’s Shakespeare Festival, and it was the first church in New York City to support gay marriage.

The church building was protected recently from demolition by neighbors and me, but many years ago it was left out of the West Side/Central Park West historic district designation. Members of the community have been in constant battle to keep this architecturally and culturally significant building from demolition, and, at the same time, retain the sanctuary and the mission of the church.

Unfortunately, structures as beautiful and significant as West Park Presbyterian Church have become scarce in our city.  The West Side and the city as a whole cannot afford to see any more of its treasures demolished to make way for more bland, uninteresting residential towers that have encroached on so many blocks in our community. Communities are not enhanced by the destruction and degradation of their built environment, nor do neighborhoods become more livable by removing their aesthetic treasures and physical landmarks.

West Park Presbyterian has been a de facto landmark at its present location, as well as a beloved neighborhood site, since the West Side emerged in the 1880s as the residential community whose architecture and ambience we treasure today. Ironically, as in other city neighborhoods of long-standing, and aesthetic and architectural value, the landmarks that give a neighborhood its physical character and history are often the first things to go when some seek to profit from those neighborhoods by destroying what makes them unique. We cannot allow this to continue, and as you know so well the Landmarks Commission was created to preserve not only an architectural gem here and there, like Grand Central, or St. Bart’s, but to ensure that areas like the Upper West Side Historic District and its adjacent structures are not degraded and lost to short-sighted ambition.

I am delighted that the West Park Presbyterian Church is being considered today, and I urge the Commission to designate this historic and treasured building as a landmark. With this building as a landmark, I will work to raise the necessary funds to restore the building.

I would like to thank West Park’s Reverend Robert Brashear, and all those throughout the community who have helped to bring us to today’s hearing, and, hopefully, to the realization of decades of neighborhood effort on behalf of this remarkable building and its legacy.