New York City is full of amazing stories of transformation. Many neighborhoods are dramatically different from the way they were 100 years ago. That’s certainly true of Midtown East, the area around Grand Central Terminal, and it is on the cusp of a new era of transformation. Various city agencies are managing that transformation, which included a rezoning plan abandoned in 2013. It also includes preservation. That’s where the Landmarks Preservation Commission comes into play.
A building most people think is part of Rockefeller Center will not be growing in the middle just yet. On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission did not approve an application to expand two floors of individual landmark 75 Rockefeller Plaza.
Perhaps you’ve noticed or heard about the new public Wi-Fi kiosks being installed around the city, often replacing payphones? Well, they’re called Links (the operation is LinkNYC) and the plan is for many many more. Before they are installed in historic districts, the Landmarks Preservation Commission must rule, and a public hearing on the issue was held Tuesday.
Back in 2014, Thor Equities and General Growth Properties were in contract to acquire the four-story, 21,837-square-foot commercial-retail building at 220 West 57th Street, in Midtown. Now, the developers are expecting to close on the property – an individual landmark dubbed the Society House of the American Society of Civil Engineers – for $85 million in June, according to The Real Deal. Its existing tenant, Lee’s Art Shop, is in the process of moving out, probably in time for the sale, DNAinfo reports. The new owners plan to renovate the building into luxury retail space. Any exterior alterations to the building will have to be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The property comes with 104,160 square feet of air rights.
The May 1 celebration of Eastern Orthodox Easter was marred by the tragic fire at the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava at 15 West 25th Street, which reduced the landmark building to a charred stone shell. Aside from minor smoke inhalation by the church caretaker, no one was injured in the four-alarm blaze. The same cannot be said for the church building itself, which was reduced to a charred ruin.