City to Consider Landmarking UES Parking Garage

By Lindsay Armstrong on March 20, 2014 3:30pm 

 Two views of the Ardsley Garage, which was built in 1914 at 165 E. 77th St.
Two views of the Ardsley Garage, which was built in 1914 at 165 E. 77th St.
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Landmarks Preservation Commission

UPPER EAST SIDE — A parking garage could be the next building to join the Upper East Side’s collection of 128 landmarked sites.

The city's Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a public hearing next week to discuss designating the Ardsley Garage at 165 E. 77th St. a city landmark amid a push by locals for recognition and protection for the five-story structure.

New York architect George F. Pelham designed the Ardsley in the style of Louis Sullivan, known as the father of the modern skyscraper. Built in 1914, the garage features floor-to-ceiling, multi-paned windows, an elaborate cornice and geometric designs on the facade.

The preservation group Friends of the Upper East Side said the building also represents an important aspect of New York City history, noting it was a part of the wave of early garages built in response to the automobile boom at the turn of the century.

“The Ardsley Garage, designed by the prolific and versatile George F. Pelham, is characteristic of urban garages of the time, which frequently hid their utilitarian contents behind attractive facades that harmonized with their surroundings,” Friends of the Upper East Side said in a statement.

The Ardsley Garage Company of Queens started as a car manufacturer in 1905, but stopped making cars in 1906. The Ardsley Company built the garage to bring in revenue by housing cars from other manufacturers, Friends of the Upper East Side said.

The garage specialized in providing space to store new automobiles close to the many showrooms along Park Avenue in Midtown, the group noted.

The building is still in use as a garage today and some changes have been made to modernize the structure, including the addition of a sign and a fire escape, as well as new lighting. 

Friends of the Upper East Side pointed out that there is precedent for the landmark status, noting that at least two other garages have been designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. In addition, many of Pelham’s other designs have been included in landmarked historic districts on the Upper East and Upper West Sides, as well as in TriBeCa.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission, which voted to calendar the issue in October, will hold a public hearing on this designation on Tuesday, March 25.

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