By Carol Tannenhauser
Monday, July 18, 2022
Thunderstorms, High 84 degrees, 70% chance of rain.
Our calendar has lots of local events! Click on the link or the lady in the upper righthand corner.
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All eyes are on the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), which is holding a public hearing on Tuesday, July 19, at 9:30 am, to take the next step towards deciding the fate of the West Park Presbyterian Church. The hearing will be livestreamed on Zoom.
West Park is the 132-year-old, red-sandstone church on the corner of West 86th Street and Amsterdam Avenue: the one with the tall tower and the 20-year-old sidewalk shed.
It was landmarked in 2010, but the owner — claiming financial hardship — is applying to have the landmark designation removed, so the church can be demolished and sold to a developer who plans to build a 19-story condominium on the site.
The current owner is the congregation of the church, 12 or so remaining members who say the building has decayed beyond a reasonable possibility of repair, a claim opponents hotly contest (though they have yet to make public a concrete plan for financing the millions of dollars estimated to be needed to repair the church’s facade and interior.)
The planned new building would have a 10,000-square-foot space for the congregation and the performing arts group that is currently leasing space in the church. The selling price for the church is about $30 million, which would go to the broader Presbyterian Church, not the West Park congregation, though it would get an endowment.
The Commission held an initial hearing on June 14, but said it would take some additional time to study the presentations and public testimony made at that session, as well as written comments. Tuesday’s session could be decision time, with the LPC voting to either grant or reject the church’s request to do away with the landmark designation. Or, as is always possible, there could be another postponement.
Join the Zoom meeting using the link below:
Or Dial in using the numbers below
646 558 8656 US (New York)
877 853 5257 US Toll-free
888 475 4499 US Toll-free
Webinar ID: 868 9794 8074
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City Councilmember Gale Brewer has organized a press conference/rally to save the West Park Presbyterian Church (that is, to reject the church’s bid to cancel its landmark status) for today, Monday, July 18, at 11 am. It will be held on the southeast corner of 86th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, across the street from the church. In addition to Brewer, speakers will include Rep. Jerry Nadler [Will Carolyn Maloney show up?], and historians, preservationists, architects, attorneys, and neighbors. We are not certain whether representatives from the other side will be there, although some were for the rally preceding the first hearing.
“Actor Nathan Lane, who, on Hulu’s ‘Only Murders in the Building,’ portrays a resident of an Upper West Side co-op building that was the site of a suspicious killing, just picked up a real-life co-op at West 71st and Broadway,” The Real DealNY reported. “Lane and his husband, writer Devlin Elliott, paid $4.1 million for a unit in The Dorilton at 171 West 71st Street, records show, slightly above its $3.95 million ask.”
“Miki Naftali is ready to take a wrecking ball to an Upper West Side apartment building that he plans to convert to luxury condos — he’s filed demolition plans. But the building’s lone holdout tenant says he isn’t going anywhere,” The Real DealNY also reported. “Naftali offered Ahmet Ozsu $30,000 to vacate the market-rent penthouse he has occupied since 2006 at 215 West 84th Street. Ozsu turned it down, looking for ‘a seven-figure payout,'” Naftali claims. Ozsu has been holding out since June of 2021, according to The New York Times, despite an eviction notice, a lawsuit, and an industrial air filter placed in front of his door. He told The Times, “‘It’s two things: I have the right to be here, and I have no place to go.’”
“Construction has resumed on 50 West 66th Street, a 69-story, 775-foot-tall residential skyscraper on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Designed by Snøhetta and developed by Extell Development Company, the tower will yield 127 condominium units and claim the title of the tallest building north of 59th Street,” YIMBY reported. “No recent news indicates any change in design, so we can expect the sleek exterior to maintain its composition of floor-to-ceiling glass, limestone panels, and bronze cladding.” Click the link for renderings.