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Landmarks Hearing for IRT Powerhouse Planned for Bastille Day

con ed irt powerhouse front portion

Preservation advocates received good news last week regarding the future of the Con Ed Powerhouse, located in the northern reaches of Hell’s Kitchen, on the block bounded by 11th Avenue and 59th Street, and 12th Avenue and 58th Street in Manhattan. The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) announced plans to hold a public hearing, to consider the individual landmark designation of the building, on July 14th, 2009.

The former Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) Powerhouse was designed by acclaimed architect Stanford White, of McKim, Mead & White, and was built in 1904 in the Renaissance Revival style. The splendidly detailed, industrial building has been considered by the LPC twice before — once in 1979 and again in 1990 — but was never granted landmark status. Earlier this year, in keeping with our commitment to the preservation of New York City’s industrial heritage, MAS sent a letter to the LPC supporting the proposed designation.

Taking action to preserve this building is especially critical at this time. Over the past few years, New York has suffered the loss of two equally noteworthy, historic powerhouses, with the demolitions of the Waterside No. 2 Power Station and the Kent Avenue Power Plant. Though it has been thirty years since this building was first considered for landmark designation, MAS hopes this third venture will finally result in the protection of one of the last remaining buildings of this type left in New York City. To show your support, please visit the website of the Hudson River Powerhouse Group, and sign their petition calling for the landmark designation this great industrial building.