Monday, May 20, 2024

NYC’s Landmarks Preservation Commission Caves to Wealthy Developers, Will Demolish Historic Buildings in Greenwich Village


The absolutely useless New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission folded like a paper airplane last night.

They gave into wealthy real estate developers Madison Capital — aka Josh and Mark Zegen, brothers of actor Michael Zegen (“Mrs. Maisel”) and voted to demolish two historic buildings on lower Fifth Avenue. The small buildings will be replaced by a 213 foot tower of few large apartments for the very very wealthy.

The LPC rolls over more often than a whore on 42nd Street (in the old days). I had a personal experience with them in 2019 in which they approved ridiculous alterations for the front of a 120 year old building in the Village that would completely change the establish aesthetic.

Who are these people? Five commissioners voted against the demolition of 14-16 Fifth Avenue. You can see them in the video. But they are resigned to the majority of the other six, none of whom cares about the history of Greenwich Village. Just look at what NYU has done in the last twenty years. It’s disgusting.

(When the developers first proposed the building, it was 241 feet tall. Now it’s 213 feet tall, which is just as ridiculous. I’ve no doubt they planned to remove that footage from the start, it was just a loss leader going in.)

I can’t figure out why the people who live next door to 14-16, in number 20, aren’t outraged and don’t sue everyone involved. 20 Fifth Avenue is kind a classy establishment. Now they’re going to have a wrecking ball swinging back and forth for more than year building an enclave for billionaires. That can’t be on their bingo card.

You can jump in here around 1:15:00. Listening the architect may induce nausea. (“I’m very fond of this,” he says. Really, build it in your own neighborhood.)

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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