Landmark East Harlem was formed to give the community of East Harlem an ongoing voice in how our neighborhood is developed and to support development that preserves the unique cultural and historical significance of the neighborhood. Our mission is also to nominate and landmark buildings; districts of architectural, historical, and cultural significance; and outdoor artworks in East Harlem.
Landmark East Harlem has attempted to work with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to advance many landmarking proposals (both those of Landmark East Harlem and of the Landmarks Preservation Commission) in advance of the proposed rezoning. On March 14, 2017, Landmark East Harlem sent a list of 22 properties that it had identified as worthy of consideration by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The Landmarks Preservation Commission replied that the properties were “on their radar” and that the Commission was conducting its own survey and analysis of East Harlem and would be in touch as things progressed. We have heard nothing from the Landmarks Preservation Commission since.
Unlike in other neighborhoods (e.g. East Midtown, where the Landmarks Preservation Commission landmarked several buildings to protect them before the Department of City Planning upzoned that neighborhood), the Landmarks Preservation Commission seems to have ignored the buildings identified by Landmark East Harlem and the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan Steering Committee. The Landmarks Preservation Commission has not even calendared the buildings identified as those likely to be eligible for city landmarking in the Department of City Planning’s East Harlem Rezoning Environmental Impact Statement. Despite saying that it was surveying the neighborhood and commenting on potential development impacts from the rezoning in the Environmental Impact Statement, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has taken no action. This lack of follow-through is hugely disappointing.
It would appear that the Landmarks Preservation Commission has identified East Harlem as a low-income neighborhood lacking in political power and therefore easy to dismiss. Fortunately East Harlem has powerful friends.
Landmark East Harlem joins Manhattan Community Board 11, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and the community of East Harlem in opposing the Department of City Planning’s rezoning plan for East Harlem. We strongly urge the New York City Council to vote NO on the DCP plan.