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News June 2018

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The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission held a public hearing on March 27 to gather public comments on the wide-ranging changes it is proposing to the rules governing the regulatory process for approving work on designated properties. The hearing drew an overflow crowd of individuals, professional organizations, preservation and environmental advocacy groups, and community board representatives. DOCOMOMO NY/Tri-State president John Arbuckle provided testimony on behalf of the chapter in an effort to highlight the potential negative impact of the proposed rules changes to buildings and sites from the Modern movement.... MORE

In 1949, before construction was complete, the Forest Hills Jewish Center received an award for its design from the Queens Chamber of Commerce. Built by architect Joseph J. Furman, the structure is documented in the Queens Modern https://queensmodern.com/project/forest-hills-jewish-center/ database. It is described as “more restrained Modernism…with a slightly convex front facade faced in a warm stone block and featuring a center, three-door entrance topped by tall stained glass windows. There is very little overt detailing, only small Jewish symbols and phrases above the entrance doors.” An equally Modern five-story school building is located at the rear. Unfortunately, the center is on track to be demolished, with a 10-story building replacing it, sometime next year.... MORE

Ken Sena and Joseph Mazzafero have completed yet another restoration of a Marcel Breuer house, the 1953 George and Vera Neumann House in Croton-on-Hudson, NY. Previously, they restored two Breuer homes in Litchfield, CT, the Stillman I and Huvelle Houses, for which they received both a Connecticut Preservation Award and a DOCOMOMO US Modernism in America Award. They purchased the Neumann house in 2014, while in the midst of their Litchfield projects. It was relatively unaltered, with the only addition having been designed by Breuer’s office in 1970, but many of the important features had suffered from deferred maintenance. ... MORE

Photo by François Dischinger

A 1963 space-agey drive-through bank in Caldwell, NJ, was demolished in May, after unsuccessful local efforts to save it. As we reported last year, the Caldwell Motor Bank was listed on Preservation New Jersey’s 10-Most Endangered Historic Places list of 2017. The local Historic Preservation Commission had reached out to both the borough government and the current owner to try to come up with possible new uses for the site, which was built to function specifically as a drive-up or walk-up teller. Moving the building was considered, however Caldwell Mayor Ann Dassing cited the cost of $200,000 and lack of a new site as reasons why it was not feasible.... MORE