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Community Board One Resolution on 109 Washington Street Tenement

By Posted in - What's Happening Now? - News And Updates on October 20th, 2012 0 Comments

In addition to its unanimous passage on June 28, 2011 of a resolution supporting the designation of the Downtown Community House at 105-107 Washington Street, Community Board One of Lower Manhattan also passed a resolution on April 17, 2007 supporting a hearing to consider landmarks designation of the 109 Washington Street tenement as well.

The Save Washington Street campaign congratulates Catherine McVay Hughes in her new role as chairperson and encourages Community Board One to continue pressing on this issue, which continues to generate local concern and to receive global media attention. The new report produced by the Save Washington Street campaign offers sufficient detail that should justify a hearing on these buildings, as the Community Board has advocated for years.

The current members of Community Board One are: Marc J. Ameruso, Linda Belfer, Peter Braus, Roger Byrom, George Calderaro, Deron Charkoudian, Susan Cole, Michael Connolly, Mark Costello, Marva Craig, Ann M. DeFalco, Jeff Ehrlich, Bruce L. Ehrmann, John Fratta, Jeff Galloway, Dennis Gault, Linda Gerstman, Tom Goodkind, Oliver Gray, Paul Hovitz, Mariama James, Noel E. Jefferson, Tricia Joyce, Michael Ketring, Joel Kopel, Elizabeth Lamere, Diane Lapson, Joseph Lerner, Adam Malitz, Megan McHugh, Catherine McVay Hughes, Tammy Meltzer, Julie Menin, Jeffrey Mihok, Patricia L. Moore, Anthony Notaro, Ruth Ohman, Una L. Perkins, Harold Reed, Robert Schneck, Coren Sharples, Edward Sheffe, Paul Sipos, Michael Skidmore, Vera Sung, Allan Tannenbaum, Robert Townley, Paul Viggiano, and Chow Xie.

DATE: APRIL 17, 2007
COMMITTEE VOTE: 7 In Favor, 0 Opposed
BOARD VOTE: 38 In Favor, 0 Opposed, 1 Abstained

103-105-107 Washington Street “Little Syria,” request for a hearing to consider designation

WHEREAS: These two buildings – 103 Washington Street and 105-107 Washington Street, along with the neighboring tenement at 109 Washington Street – represent the remnants of an astonishing and unsung community, whose decline started with the construction of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and whose disappearance was completed by the erection of the World Trade
Center, and

WHEREAS: This once-thriving immigrant neighborhood existed for a century in the far lower West Side, from The Battery to Washington Market, and is beautifully described by Barbara and Martin Rizek and Joanne Medvecky in their recent book, The Financial District’s Lost Neighborhood 1900-1970, and

WHEREAS: 103 Washington Street, now Moran’s Bar, is a building first constructed in the 1870s and redone in 1929 in beautiful pristine cream terra cotta as St. George’s Syrian Roman Catholic Church, and

WHEREAS: 105-107 Washington Street is a crisp and austere Federal-style settlement house completed in 1925, and

WHEREAS: Along with the architecturally undistinguished but culturally significant 1871 tenement at 109 Washington Street, these three buildings represent a suite of life from immigrant arrival to residence to cultural center in the forgotten Manhattan village of “Little Syria” which, like the lower East Side, included a wide range of immigrants from all over the world, and

WHEREAS: While the Landmarks Committee was initially skeptical, the presentation made by the Rizeks (the above-named book’s co-authors) and Joe Svehlak, a preservationist, was so compelling and convincing that the committee had every reason to appreciate at least 103 and 105-107 Washington Street’s merits if, for no other reasons, than on architectural grounds alone, now


Community Board #1 urges the Landmarks Preservation Commission to hold a hearing to consider landmarks designation of these properties.

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