Landmarks agency failing its job

Incomparable West Park Church hangs in balance

Incomparable West Park Church hangs in balance

New York Daily News, Feb. 12, 2023
By Roberta Brandes Gratz

How many private meetings between a developer applicant and the chairman, lawyer and staff of the Landmarks Preservation Commission does it take before the pattern is considered corruption?

The commission’s record these days is going from bad to worse. Several designated buildings in Greenwich Village, the Upper East Side and Harlem have been demolished due to deterioration and purposeful owner neglect with no landmarks commission effort at enforcement.T

The fate of the incomparable 1884 Romanesque West Park Church on 86th St. and Amsterdam hangs in the balance as the commission goes through the motions of delaying a decision on the hardship application by the New York Presbytery who wants to sell it to a developer for a reported $30 million. The congregation is gone but a lively and varied performing arts center is thriving and growing. The church has been central to the history of both the city and the Upper West Side with some of the city’s oldest and most iconic names associated with it, like Phelps, Dodge and more. There is little confidence the commission will do the right thing without a lawsuit.

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Glitz & Grit Gala

Glitz & Grit Gala

Fund-raiser for West Park Presbyterian Church

Mark Miller

Mark Miller

Owner, Mark Miller Gallery