2007_03_stable.jpgLast fall, preservationists failed to prevent the planned demolition of the Dakota Stables on West 77th And Amsterdam Avenue. Though preservationists were trying to have the Dakota Stables landmarked, the Landmarks Preservation Committee denied it landmark status because some of its facade was stripped by the developer - while it was being considered for landmark status! Talk about gaming the system.

Now the City Council is reviewing a bill to close a the "landmarks loophole". The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation's Andrew Berman tells the Times that when the landmark protection was being bandied about for meatpacking district, building owners rushed to get building permits, to sort of ensure they could still renovate and change their buildings even if it would later be a landmark. From the NY times:

In its present form, the bill would require the Department of Buildings to suspend previously issued permits for structures that are given landmark protection, and to permanently halt any work on such buildings that is not yet too far along. The bill would also direct the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Buildings Department to communicate with each other about properties under consideration for protected status. In effect, they would be required to give each other a heads-up when new permit requests arrive or when newly considered historic buildings and areas are studied.

Well, that's a novel idea - having different city agencies talk to each other!

The LPC has been under fire lately - if not from novelist and Upper East Sider Tom Wolfe in the NY Times, then from other concerned citizens. And the New York Preservation Archive Project is trying to create a database of people who have fought to preserve city spaces.