Historic Chelsea row house fights city over penthouse addition

Landmark panel could order that owner remove top floor

New York /
Aug.August 06, 2013 10:00 AM

The owner of a historic Chelsea row house is squaring off against the city in court today over the addition of a penthouse, DNAinfo reported.

Tony Mamounas contends that his fifth-floor addition to the Hopper-Gibbons House at 339 West 29th Street, once a stop on the Underground Railroad, conforms with all building regulations. In February, the city declared that the house falls under the jurisdiction of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which is expected to rule that Mamounas has to remove the penthouse floor.

In a lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court,  Mamounas claims much of the work was done immediately after the Department of Buildings  issued him a permit in 2005. The city argues that construction went on after the commission landmarked the building in 2010.

“Even though the bulk of it was built a year after it was landmarked (as proven by time stamped photographs), he is trying to bypass the Landmarks Preservation Commission,” Fern Luskin, co-chair of the Friends of the Hopper-Gibbons Underground Railroad Site, told DNAinfo.

The house once belonged to abolitionists Abigail and James Hopper Gibbons, and their family used the roof  to flee to safety during the 1863 draft riots. Preservationists maintain that the roof holds particular historical significance because of its role as an escape route.

The lawsuit doesn’t dispute the historical significance but claims Mamounas should not have to remove the penthouse because he had a building permit, regardless of whether it was issued correctly or not. [DNAinfo]  – Hiten Samtani


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
The Strand Bookstore and store owner Nancy Bass Wyden (Credit: Getty Images)
Over owner’s protests, city landmarks Strand bookstore
Over owner’s protests, city landmarks Strand bookstore
Revamped design for 550 Madison receives Landmarks’ approval
Revamped design for 550 Madison receives Landmarks’ approval
Revamped design for 550 Madison receives Landmarks’ approval
The Top 10 preservation fights of 2018
The Top 10 preservation fights of 2018
The Top 10 preservation fights of 2018
Workers at the location, 526 Gulf Avenue in Staten Island, are being told that they do not have to wear masks in areas not monitored by cameras. (Google Maps, iStock)
“Save us, Jeff Bezos!” Worker says Amazon contractor shuns Covid safety
“Save us, Jeff Bezos!” Worker says Amazon contractor shuns Covid safety
A rendering of 250 Water Street, Landmarks Preservation Commission chair Sarah Carroll and Howard Hughes Corporation CEO David O’Reilly (Center for Architecture, The Howard Hughes Corporation/SOM)
Howard Hughes told to further refine Seaport tower proposal
Howard Hughes told to further refine Seaport tower proposal
Howard Hughes Corporation CEO David O’Reilly and 250 Water Street (The Howard Hughes Corporation/SOM)
Critics look down on shorter 250 Water Street
Critics look down on shorter 250 Water Street
132-05 Avery Avenue, 902 55th Street in Borough Park and 750 Grand Concourse. (Google Maps)
Three landlords slapped with six-figure fines for carving up buildings
Three landlords slapped with six-figure fines for carving up buildings
Previous rendering of 250 Water Street (left) and a new rendering (right) with Howard Hughes Corporation CEO David O’Reilly (The Howard Hughes Corporation/SOM)
Howard Hughes hopes smaller Seaport project will work this time
Howard Hughes hopes smaller Seaport project will work this time
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...