On June 5 the Board of Standards and Appeals will hold a hearing for variances sought by the owner of 329-335 East 9th Street to build rooftop additions. The developer’s application to the Department of Buildings last year to build rooftop additions was denied because they did not comply with the Multiple Dwelling Law which requires that any enlargements of 6 stories or more to tenements must include updated fire and safety code measures.
The owner is seeking variances to be permitted to benefit from enlarging the buildings without complying with aspects of the Multiple Dwelling Law created more than 80 years ago to protect tenants and the fire and rescue personnel who come to their aid. This is a law that building owners throughout the city are required to comply with and do; we see no reason for there to be an exception made in these cases.
From our research of the East Village we know that the buildings were built in the latter half of the 19th century by developer John W. Theiss starting with 329 East 9th Street in 1869, followed by 333 and 335 East 9th Street being constructed in 1875, and 331 East 9th Street in 1884. The buildings are very much intact and retain much of their architectural features including elaborate iron cornices, window pediments and door surrounds. Should these additions be built they would most certainly lose their cornices and other architectural details, and perhaps end up altogether stripped of ornament like the buildings at 514-516 East 6th Street with illegally constructed rooftop additions.
What’s more, these building are located on a very cohesive block on East 9th Street between First and Second Avenues comprised of late 19th century buildings of similar scale, materials, and height most of which have also retained their original architectural features. To add floors to these buildings would irreversibly damage the character of this block.
Throughout our neighborhoods we are advocating against inappropriate enlargements to historic buildings like the Chelsea Market expansion and the additions to the Puck Building. If you want to lend your voice to the opposition of the additions to the buildings at 329-335 East 9th Street we have a sample letter you can send to the Board of Standards and Appeals here.