By Carol Tannenhauser
On Tuesday, July 19, at 9:30 a.m., the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) will hold a public meeting via Zoom, regarding the future of the West Park Presbyterian Church.
The public will not be permitted to testify, but may submit written (emailed) testimony to firstname.lastname@example.org by this Friday, July 15.
This may be your last chance to weigh in on the future of the church — and the intersection where it sits — Amsterdam Avenue and West 86th Street.
Right now, two of the city’s 1,445 individual landmarks face each other across the avenue, the Belnord apartments and the church.
But the church’s congregation (about a dozen strong) is seeking to have its landmark status removed on the basis of “hardship,” so the church can be demolished and the land sold to Alchemy Properties, a developer who plans to build a condominium on it.
The congregation claims it will take $50 million to restore the church, which they don’t have. The opposition, led by Councilmember Gale Brewer and populated by elected officials, preservationists, community groups and neighbors, say it will cost much less and they will raise it, though no one has done so in the past 12 years since the church was landmarked. A nonprofit performing arts group that is currently leasing space in the church, says they will buy it — though for significantly less than the developer is offering.
We will get back to you with the details and zoom link for next week’s LPC meeting when they are released. Meanwhile, the link to testify is above.