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Proposed Request to New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission for Evaluation to Consider Designation of 13-15 West 29th Street as an Individual Landmark

At the scheduled monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, June 13, 2013, the Board passed the following resolution by a vote of 23 in favor; 18 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, 13-15 West 29th Street, located between Fifth Avenue and Broadway, are two five story brownstone townhouses of Italianate style, initially each designed as a private residence for a wealthy family, and constructed in 1859 for George Greer; and

WHEREAS, 13-15 West 29th Street, now combined as one building, has retained a high level of architectural detailing, including the original cornices; and

WHEREAS, In the subsequent decades, as the prosperous residents of this neighborhood began to move further north in Manhattan, the usage of 13-15 West 29th Street was adapted for commercial usage; and

WHEREAS, In 1900, the façades, encompassing the English basements and the two floors above, were combined and converted for silk-stocking commerce then prevalent in this neighborhood, with show windows and a cast iron storefront designed by the prominent architect John Butler Snook; and

WHEREAS, An early resident of 13 West 29th Street was the American-born operatic tenor John Haley Augustin Chatterton, famous as the boy soprano under the name Johnny Holman, and then later known later by his professional name Don Giovanni Perugini; and

WHEREAS, In the 1920's, 13 West 29th Street served as the headquarters for the Woodcraft League of America, a predecessor to and inspiration for the British Boy Scouts organization; and

WHEREAS, An Application requesting evaluation to designate 13-15 West 29th Street as an individual landmark has been filed with the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission by Concerned Citizens of Gilsey House, and this application is supported by the Historic Districts Council and the Victorian Society; and

WHEREAS, Although there are two individual landmarks on the north side West 29th Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway – Marble Collegiate Church at the east and Gilsey House at the west – 13-15 West 29th Street is just outside of the boundaries of the Madison Square North Historic District; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five believes that a part of the historic fabric of the buildings' 1859 construction as well as the 1900 cast iron storefront remains intact, and views that these varying building elements display the evolution of this neighborhood; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five requests an evaluation by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission of the potential designation of 13-15 West 29th Street as an individual landmark.

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