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Request to New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission for Evaluation to Designate The Bancroft Building 3-7 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 41 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, The Bancroft Building at 3-7 West 29th Street, located between Fifth Avenue and Broadway, is a 10 story commercial loft building of Ruskinian Gothic-inspired style, designed by the renowned and prolific architect, Robert Henderson Robertson, constructed in 1896 for woolen importer Edward H. Van Ingen; and

WHEREAS, The Bancroft Building's ornate and unusual façade is constructed in layers of hand carved limestone, terracotta, and brick masonry, and these 19th Century architectural details remain greatly intact; and

WHEREAS, An early and longtime tenant of The Bancroft Building was The Camera Club of New York, whose principal, Alfred Stieglitz was instrumental in the acceptance of photography as an art form alongside painting and sculpture; and

WHEREAS, Having a prestigious reputation, The Camera Club was often seen as a venue for introducing new advances and techniques in the photographic sphere, including the autochrome process (an early form of color photography), X-Ray photography, and early motion pictures, among others; and

WHEREAS, An application requesting evaluation to designate The Bancroft Building at 3-7 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 – The Bancroft Building is just outside of the boundaries of the Madison Square North Historic District; and

WHEREAS, Robert Henderson Robertson was highly regarded American Architect of the late 19th and early 20th Century, several of his works, such as the Park Row Building, the American Tract Society Building, and the Lincoln Building have been designated as New York City Landmarks; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five requests an evaluation by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission of the potential designation of The Bancroft Building at 3-7 West 29th Streetas an Individual Landmark.

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