Volume 73, Number 6 | June 9 - 15, 2004

MacDougal ‘federals’ landmarked

By Albert Amateau

Three buildings at 127-131 MacDougal St. were landmarked on Tuesday.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to designate three early federal rowhouse on MacDougal St. as city landmarks.

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation hailed the action that protects the houses at 127, 129 and 131 MacDougal St. from demolition or significant alteration without Landmarks Commission approval.

“We are all the better today for the Commission’s actions protecting these three great reminders of our city’s storied past,” said Andrew Berman, G.V.S.H.P. executive director.

In 2002, when there was speculation that New York University would buy the three buildings for development near Washington Sq. — the owner of the building with the copy shop had approached N.Y.U. — the Society and local elected officials joined to urge N.Y.U. not to compromise the houses and the university did not acquire the property.

In 2003, the Society and New York Landmarks Conservancy called for the designation of 13 federal houses including the MacDougal St. houses. The other 10 are 4 St. Mark’s Place; 67, 94, 94 ?, 96, 486 and 488 Greenwich St.; 57 Sullivan St.; 2 Oliver St.; and 7 Leroy St. 

“I hope the Commission will continue with this work, and protect the other 10 federal houses we have identified, as well as the endangered historic areas of the Far West and South Village, which lack landmark protections but face tremendous threat to their wonderful historic buildings,” Berman said.

The South Village is the area south of Washington Sq. and W. Fourth St. not within the Greenwich Village Historic District. It is also the area of the Village that was the center of the Italian-American immigrant community. Working-class architecture, ornate tenements, 19th-century houses, converted stables and industrial loft buildings characterize the South Village.

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