Morningside Heights Historic District Committee

Preserving, Celebrating, and Discovering the Story of our Community

Phase II Historic District Effort for Morningside Heights


Morningside Heights Historic District Extension — Sixty-two properties roughly bounded by West 114th Street to the north, Amsterdam Avenue to the east, West 112th Street to the south, and Broadway to the west reflects two successive waves of speculative development: single-family dwelling construction and multi-family dwelling construction;

Amsterdam Avenue-Morningside Drive South — Thirteen properties roughly bounded by West 116th Street to the north, Morningside Drive to the east, West 115th Street to the south, and Amsterdam Avenue to the west reflects a variety of speculative, mostly mid- rise, multi-family dwellings;

Amsterdam Avenue-Morningside Drive North — Eighteen properties roughly bounded by Morningside Drive to the north and east, West 118th Street to the south, and Amsterdam Avenue to the west reflects a variety of speculative multi-family dwellings that encompass mid- and high-rise buildings;

Broadway-Amsterdam Avenue — Forty properties roughly bounded by West 123rd Street to the north, Amsterdam Avenue to the east, West 121st Street to the south, and Broadway to the west reflects a district of predominantly working-class, multi-family dwellings, along with a small concentration of middle-class, multi-family dwellings, and a discreet religious complex;

Riverside Drive-Claremont Avenue — Twenty-three properties roughly bounded by Tiemann Place to the north, Claremont Avenue to the east, West 122nd Street to the south, and Riverside Drive to the west reflects a host of predominantly working-class, multi- family dwellings, along with a moderate concentration of middle-class, multi-family dwellings; and

The process of designating an historic district starts when the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) begins to consider an area worthy of special protection. However, rarely does the designation of a neighborhood happen without substantial community involvement.

MHHDC is clear that more of our neighborhood needs to be protected. The current Morningside Heights Historic District covers less than half of our community. We have submitted a Request for Evaluation to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission and are following up with their leaders and with local elected officials to advance the process. You can see the areas we have proposed here.

Here are the steps involved:

• When the public, a community member, or a group wishes an area or property to be considered for designation, a Request for Evaluation(RFE) must be submitted to the LPC.

• The LPC reviews the RFE, makes site visits, does further research and decides if a district is worthy of further consideration. The community can also make known to the LPC that there is strong support for this designation in the form of letters, phone calls or e-mails to the Commission. It is also recommended that community members meet with the LPC chair and staff to tour the neighborhood.

• Once the LPC decides that an area is worthy of further consideration, “calendaring” is the first official step in the designation process. Calendaring is the action of establishing that an item will be scheduled for a Public Hearing. This is also when boundaries of the potential district are proposed by the LPC.

•The Public Hearing is the opportunity for members of the community, elected officials and interested parties to give testimony for or against the designation of the proposed district. Sometime after the Public Hearing (in most cases), the LPC will take a vote on the district. If the vote is favorable, a Designation Report is issued and the new historic district is now protected.

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