Landmarks to hold public hearing for four proposed Sunset Park historic districts

Preserving the neighborhood: The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission will host a public hearing at its offices on the distant isle of Manhattan, where locals can weigh in a proposal to formally designate four historic districts throughout Sunset Park — one of which would include buildings on 44th Street between Fifth and Seventh avenues, seen here.
Lynn Massimo

Call it a landmark day.

Sunset Parkers can weigh in on a proposal to designate four historic districts in their neighborhood at a public hearing the city Landmarks Preservation Commission will host May 7 on the distant isle of Manhattan.

The hearing, slated to begin at 9:30 a.m. at the landmarks agency’s ninth floor office at 1 Centre Street at Chambers St., will give locals a chance to tell commission members why they do or do not support the designation — which would forever preserve more than 500 buildings located within the proposed districts — in the last step of the formal designation process before the commission takes its vote at a public meeting.

The proposed districts include:

• 44th Street between Fifth and Seventh avenues;

• 46th, 47th, and 48th streets between Fifth and Sixth avenues, plus the Sixth Avenue–facing blocks between 47th and 49th streets;

• 50th Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues;

• and 54th, 55th, 56th, 57th, 58th, and 59th streets between Fourth and Fifth avenues.

The areas contain a mix of wood, stone, and brick structures, as well as row houses built between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which represent the neighborhood’s “primary periods of development and building typologies,” according to Kate Lemos McHale, the agency’s director of research.

Commission members announced their decision to calendar the proposal — the first formal step in the designation process — in January, years after local preservationists from the so-called Sunset Park Landmarks Committee first pushed the landmarks agency to evaluate 22 neighborhood blocks for the designation back in March 2014.

That request led agency staffers to conduct their own survey of the neighborhood — currently home to only five individual landmarks — which resulted in commission members identifying the four areas they may soon designate as official historic districts.

City law requires the commission to designate historic districts within two years of a vote to calendar any proposed enclaves, according to spokeswoman Zodet Negron, who said the agency has yet to set a date for its public meeting to vote on the suggested Sunset Park districts.

Sunset Park historic districts public hearing at Landmarks Preservation Commission (1 Centre Street at Chambers St., ninth floor, in Manhattan). May 7 at 9:30 a.m.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.

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