Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Preservation News... Landmarks on the Lower East Side?

Jarmulovsky Bank Building, via Greenwich Village Daily Photo.

In July, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission met to discuss landmark designation for 17 individual historic properties, including:

- 143 Allen Street House, at Rivington Street in Manhattan, a two-story intact Federal style residence constructed c. 1831.

- The Hebrew Actors’ Union, at 31 East 7th Street between Second and Third avenues, constructed in the late 19th century

- The former Germania Fire Insurance Company building, at 357 Bowery, south of Cooper Square, a Second Empire style, 3 ½ story building completed in 1870

- 97 Bowery building, near Hester Street, a five-story Italianate commercial structure with a cast-iron fa├žade constructed c. 1869

- Ridley & Sons Department Store, 319-321 Grand Street between Orchard and Allen streets, one of a pair of five-story, cast-iron buildings constructed c. 1886.

- Jarmulowsky Bank, 54 Canal St. at Orchard Street, a 12-story limestone and brick Beaux Arts style building built 1911-1912

You may remember reading about the Jarmulowsky clan in a past blog post. The Ridleys were just as nutty; read about them on the Inside the Apple blog.

The Ridley & Sons Department Store was a major neighborhood landmark, providing jobs for young immigrant women and fashionable clothes for a fraction of the cost of the stores uptown. The large windows are a sign of the times when indoor lighting was minimal. You can also see where the building was chopped up after Allen Street was widened in the early 20th century. All interesting stuff.

Former Ridley Department Store. Note where the arch in the brown windows abruptly ends - the building was sheared off when the El was torn down and the street was widened.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission recently let us know that they've added these properties to the calendar and will review their historic merit at an upcoming meeting. As it turns out, they are discussing Jarmulowsky at a meeting today. Too bad they don't have a live blogger or a Twitter feed... we'll have to wait to find out how it's going.

This is all good news; while the Commission is waiting to review the buildings, the owners can't alter them or tear them down. The Grand Street property that was once Ridley's is currently up for sale, as was Jarmulowsky's in the spring, so it's definitely a positive step for these properties to have protection.

- Posted by Kate Stober

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