Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts The Wooden House that Could by Friends of the Upper East Side
Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts
The Wooden House that Could
Supporters of wooden houses citywide showed up at the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s special hearing on November 12, 2015 to speak in favor of the designation of 412 East 85th Street as an individual landmark. The house was built circa 1860 and is a rare example of a wooden clapboard building in Yorkville, a remnant from the area’s agrarian past. It is one of only six wood frame houses on the Upper East Side, and the only one which remains unprotected. Its owners have been careful stewards of the building, restoring it to its 1916 appearance based on the earliest and most complete existing photographs. By all accounts, 412 East 85th Street is already an unofficial neighborhood landmark, and a beloved fixture of FRIENDS’ educational walking tours. Vocal support by its owners, in addition to Council Member Ben Kallos, the Historic Districts Council, Municipal Art Society, New York Landmarks Conservancy, the Victorian Society in America, Carnegie Hill Neighbors, Community Board 8, and FRIENDS will help to ensure a positive outcome for the building.
In November 2014, the Landmarks Preservation Commission announced a plan to remove nearly 100 properties from consideration for designation. These items had been “calendared” for public hearings, but had not yet been approved or denied as landmarks by the Commission. In response to public outcry, the LPC agreed to postpone the de-calendaring in favor of a more judicious plan. Throughout the winter, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer met with a variety of stakeholders, including FRIENDS, to propose a transparent designation process to handle these properties. In June 2015, the LPC announced a special Backlog Initiative to address with each of these items. Throughout the period of public review this fall, four special public hearings were held to address all 95 items. 412 East 85th Street was the only Upper East Side property under consideration, and the LPC selected it for designation at its February 23rd public meeting. In total, 30 of the 95 items on the backlog were similarly prioritized. We can’t wait to announce our 129th individual landmark after the designation hearing to take place later this year - keep an eye out for further updates in your e-mail inbox!