Happy Anniversary to Far West Village Landmark Victories!
On May 2, 2006, two new historic districts were designated in the Far West Village, the Greenwich Village Historic District Extension and the Weehawken Street Historic District, as part of GVSHP’s on-going campaign since 2001 to secure protections for this historically, architecturally and culturally rich area. The Greenwich Village Historic District Extension was the first-ever expansion of the Greenwich Village Historic District which was designated in 1969. Both of the 2006 districts were part of GVSHP’s original proposal for a Far West Village/Greenwich Village Waterfront Historic District from 2004.
GVSHP’s campaign for the Far West Village included community events such as town halls and rallies and, although the fight is not over, we have secured many protections for this historically and architecturally significant area which also prevent out-of-scale and inappropriate development. The first stage of this successful effort actually came in 2003, when GVSHP got the city to landmark most, but not all of the Meatpacking District, as far south as Horatio Street and as far west as West Street. After this, GVSHP and a coalition of local community groups set their sights on the remainder of the Far West Village, an area which had come under intense development pressure in recent years, and where more and more of the old industrial buildings and row houses were being replaced with new glassy condos.
As early as 1963, Jane Jacobs wrote to the chair of the New York City Landmarks Commission that the Far West Village should be included in any planned Greenwich Village Historic District, and the boundary then under consideration should be extended to West Street. In 2004, GVSHP submitted a proposal to the LPC for a Far West Village/Greenwich Village Waterfront Historic District which included all historic, non-landmarked buildings in the area between the newly designated Gansevoort Market Historic District and Barrow Street (where the West Village Houses, built in the mid-1970’s, began). In 2005, the LPC came back with a proposal to landmark about half of that area, part as an extension of the existing Greenwich Village Historic District, part as a Weehawken Street Historic District, and part as a series of eight individual landmark designations. At the same time, the City agreed to downzone much of the rest of the Far West Village, which GVSHP had also proposed. This rezoning, which was adopted in 2005, stopped several out-of-scale projects and imposed height and bulk limits for any future developments. The two historic district designations came in 2006, and were followed by the first group of individual landmarks which were voted upon on March 6, 2007. Following those designations, the LPC also landmarked Westbeth and the former Devoe Paint Factory at 110 Horatio Street.
The Greenwich Village Historic District Extension is comprised of 45 buildings. According to the designation report, “a distinctive part of the history and character of Greenwich Village and its far western Hudson River waterfront section.” The Weehawken Street Historic District is a small historic district is comprised of fourteen buildings that represents a wonderful cross-section of the development of Greenwich Village’s Hudson River waterfront as well. For further information on the Greenwich Village Historic District Extension, please see the designation report (click HERE) and for further information on the Weehaken Street Historic District, please see the designation report (click HERE).
As part of our continued efforts in the Far West Village, earlier this year, we successfully beat back a move by the Mayor to roll back the zoning protections we had fought for and secured for the Far West Village. Click here for more recent news about the Far West Village including the Hudson River Park Pier 40 Air Rights Issue. Click here to see a Far West Village rezoning and landmarks map. Read more about the rezoning here.