Protect the Merchant’s House Museum

Letter to City Planning Commission

May 3, 2018

Marisa Lago, Chair
City Planning Commission
120 Broadway, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10271

Dear Chair Lago,

The Municipal Art Society (MAS) urges the denial of the zoning text amendment and special permit for the proposed new hotel at 27 East 4th Street. The Merchant’s House Museum is a unique resource, as evidenced by its status as a National Historic Landmark and the first-ever designation by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

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Exterior of the Merchant's House Museum
Exterior of the Merchant's House Museum. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Tony (as part of the Wikipedia Takes Manhattan project).

Studies by architectural firms, structural engineers, and soil engineers have separately concluded that the proposed project will cause irreversible harm and extreme cost to the Merchant’s House. The foundation and party wall will undoubtedly be damaged by construction vibrations, which puts its matchless historic plaster at great risk. Additionally, closing the museum during construction and storing its collection off-site will result in overwhelming expense.

Granting this special permit will benefit a single property owner at the expense of a vital and rare public resource.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Goldstein
Elizabeth Goldstein
President
The Municipal Art Society of New York

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