LPC undecided on Merchant’s House neighbor

March 12, 2013 06:00PM

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has postponed a vote on whether to allow a garage adjacent to the landmarked Merchant’s House Museum to be torn down in order to make way for a new nine-story building, the Local reported.

While the proposed building by SRA Architecture + Engineering at 27 East 4th Street was designed specifically to provide additional structural support to the museum’s building, the commission fears that construction of the structure may harm the museum. The commission has also questioned the height of the structure, which some detractors argue will compromise the historical integrity of the street. The building will likely be a hotel, it was previously reported.

At a meeting today, representatives for SRA assured members of LPC that the building would fit with the character of the neighborhood but the committee opted to delay the vote.

Members of the committee remain split on the issue, the Local said. Frederick Baland, one member, said that he was persuaded by SRA’s assurances, while Michael Goldblum said he had lingering concerns.

“I’m very uncomfortable to say whether the standards, which seem quite extraordinary, are sufficient to protect the landmark,” Goldblum said. “You can monitor all you want but when you start to see cracks, it’s gone.” [Local]