September 2017
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MAS Requests LPC Evaluate Historic Buildings in the Flatiron District

Ms. Meenakshi Srinivasan, Chair
NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
Municipal Building
One Centre Street, 9th Floor
New York, New York 10007

Re: Historic Resources in the Flatiron District

Dear Chair Srinivasan:

We write with a request for the Landmarks Preservation Commission to research and evaluate historic resources in the Flatiron District. In 2015, as part of our Accidental Skyline initiative, the Municipal Art Society identified Flatiron as one of the neighborhoods most vulnerable to supertall development in the five boroughs. This finding and the recent rezoning of East Midtown, just north of Flatiron, make it clear that this neighborhood could face rapid, out-of-scale development quite soon. The Landmarks Preservation Commission has the opportunity to proactively balance preservation with an increase in density.

Thus, we were disappointed by the recent rejection of a Request for Evaluation of the Kaskel & Kaskel Building as an individual landmark. As a result, this Beaux-Arts style building from the turn of the last century will soon be replaced by a new condominium tower. We understand that the considerable alterations made to the Kaskel & Kaskel building over time were a factor in this rejection. We hope that, by designating appropriate buildings in the Flatiron District or extending the nearby Madison Square North Historic District, the Landmarks Preservation Commission might protect other significant historic resources from such alterations in the future, and ultimately prevent their destruction.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth's signature

Elizabeth Goldstein
President
The Municipal Art Society of New York