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100-102 East 17th Street, Tammany Hall, proposed individual landmark designation

WHEREAS, 100-102 East 17th Street (aka 44 Union Square East), the old Tammany Hall, is a 1929 Colonial Revival style building with a red brick façade and white granite, designed to evoke the “days of early American architecture” (according to the 1928 Real Estate Record) by architects Thomson, Holmes & Converse and Charles B. Meyers; and

WHEREAS, The building also has a significant cultural history since it was the headquarters of the “infamous” Democratic political machine known as “Tammany Hall” from 1929 to 1943, and thereafter, continued to be a center of the political and arts communities, housing first the international Ladies Garment Workers Union, then and currently an Off-Broadway theater, and the New York Film Academy; and

WHEREAS, The initial attempt to designate Tammany Hall in 1984 by including it in a proposed Union Square Historic District did not succeed since the Landmarks Preservation Commission preferred piecemeal designation for Union Square, which currently has 12 individually designated buildings; and

WHEREAS, Union Square has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the Federal government; and

WHEREAS, Tammany Hall is in the 1985 Union Square Special Zoning District, which provides, among other things, that air rights from adjacent properties outside the Special District cannot be used within the Special District, and

WHEREAS, Tammany Hall was identified by the City Planning Department as a “significant building” in the Union Square Special Zoning District; and

WHEREAS, In 1998, Tammany Hall was not included in the East 17th Street/Irving Place Historic District which starts on the east side of Tammany Hall since the buildings in the Historic District consisted of 10 contiguous 19th century Renaissance Revival residential houses which were not architecturally similar to Tammany Hall; and

WHEREAS, Over many years the community support for the designation of Tammany Hall has been very strong, as has the substantial support from the area’s political leaders and various organizations such as The New York Landmarks Conservancy, The Municipal Art Society of New York, The Historic Districts Council, The Gramercy Neighborhood Associates, and The Union Square Community Coalition; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Manhattan Community Board #5 recommends that 100-102 East 17th Street (aka 44 Union Square East), the old Tammany Hall, be approved as a Designated New York City Landmark based on its distinctive architecture, historic significance, and cultural importance to the City.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 38 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.

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