A rendering of the church after conversion by Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel Architects.
Developers who want to turn the former First Church of Christ, Scientist on 96th street and Central Park West into condos won approval in March from the Landmarks Preservation Commission after a tough fight. But one more regulatory agency, the Board of Standards & Appeals, stands in its way, and the battle could delay or even squash the project entirely. That board decides on changes to zoning rules for individual properties.
Landmarks West and some neighbors continue to fight the project, saying the structure should be turned into a museum or put to some other more community-friendly use, according to NY YIMBY.
“We do not sacrifice our historic monuments,” said activist Susan Simon, adding that the proposal was “ill-conceived.” Architect and neighbor Luis Salazar said the church is not “functionally obsolete” and that the conversion would “permanently alter” the character of the community.
The New York Landmarks Conservancy and a neighbor spoke out in favor of the project, however, saying it was “appropriate treatment.”
Proponents and opponents will submit new proposals — the BSA wants to be “dazzled” — that will be voted on Jan. 12, 2016.