Audubon Park Neighbors Come Together to Expand Their Historic District

The neighborhood alliance that is working to expand the Audubon Park Historic District to include the twelve row houses on West 158th Street is sponsoring a kick-off meeting to introduce the initiative to the neighboring community. Everyone interested in this historic preservation initiative is welcome to attend!

Wednesday, March 30, 7:30 P.M. – 8:30 P.M.

800 Riverside Drive @ 158th Street

The Grinnell Community Room

The evening will include a brief presentation describing the initiative along with a question-and-answer session. Representatives of the Historic Districts Council (HDC) will be on hand to discuss the architectural, cultural, and economic benefits of historic districts and address misconceptions about the impacts of designation on operating and repair costs.

Sample letters supporting the project will be available for anyone interested in signing one at the meeting or taking copies to circulate among neighbors for additional signatures.

APHD Expansion Meeting
The row of twelve, looking west along 158th Street and one of many architectural details on the block

Expanding the Audubon Park Historic District

In 2009, when New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) reviewed the proposal for an Audubon Park Historic District, it considered several configurations that would have included apartment buildings and houses built between 1897 and 1934. Some of the buildings were within the historic Audubon Park footprint and a few were outside it.

The final designation included apartment buildings constructed between 1908 and 1933 along with the double house that Nathan Berler and Charles Levy constructed in the early 1920s. Most were within the area that had once been Audubon Park, though two buildings with complementary architecture are just outside that footprint.

The designation did not include the twelve row houses along 158th Street, even though they were in Audubon Park’s historic footprint. Significantly, these late 19th Century houses predate all of the designated buildings and represent an alternate phase of development anticipating the arrival of rapid transit in northern Manhattan.

APHD Expansion Map

A neighborhood coalition, including the Audubon Park Alliance and Riverside Oval Association, is working to reverse that omission and expand the Audubon Park Historic District to include the architecturally cohesive group of row houses that sit along 158th Street adjacent to the current Audubon Park Historic District.

hdc_2colorSix to Celebrate

The Historic Districts Council has recognized the significance of this initiative by choosing it as one of its 2016 “Six to Celebrate.” While selection to be one of the “Six” does not guarantee that the Landmarks Preservation Commission will review or approve a Request for Evaluation, having access to the Historic Districts Council’s skilled staff and decades of preservation advocacy will be a distinct advantage during the many stages of the request and approval process.

Everyone interested in historic preservation in New York City is welcome to attend this kick-off meeting!