Friday, September 25, 2015

Urgency for St. Michael's

What seems to be the rush?  St. Michael's has been a proven civic neighbor for generations.  The current church is the Congregation's third house of worship in NYC and has been serving the city since it was first dedicated in 1891--nearly a century and a quarter ago--so why designate it?  Why now?

The St. Michael's Church, Parish House and Rectory work together to form a unique ecclesiastic campus.  What is more, is that although they accrued over time, they are all by the same architect, Robert Gibson.

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has previously heard this site twice, once in 1980, and once in 2008, but the Commissioners have never taken an action.  As the LPC attempts to "clear the backlog" the public will once again have an opportunity to defend this landmark grouping as a legally recognized "Landmark" and allow it to enjoy all of the benefits that come with this protection.

While there will be a hearing for this site on November 12, 2015, this hearing is twice as important given current legislation proposed in City Council.  Should Intro. 775 pass, it will mean that should the LPC take "No Action"* when they vote on the complex in 2016, that there is not another opportunity to designate this complex until 2021; thus, the added urgency!

*A no-action letter is an administrative process that allows items to be taken off the calendar without prejudice, and with no judgment on the merits for designation. Such items could be brought forward at a later time for designation.

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