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Riverside-West End Historic District Extension Gets Unanimous Council Vote

By Emily Frost | October 12, 2012 9:33am

UPPER WEST SIDE — The City Council voted to unanimously approve the first of three proposed extensions to the Riverside-West End Avenue Historic District Thursday, which landmarks West End Avenue and its side streets from 79 Street to West 87 Street. 

"It is an incredibly important historic district," City Councilwoman Gale Brewer told the council.

She added in a statement: "West End Avenue is one of the world's most important ensembles of residential buildings, as architecturally harmonious and perfectly scaled to the spacious boulevard as those on Park Avenue."

If approved, the next two extensions would create a historic district that spans from 70th Street to 109th Street and includes Riverside Drive, West End Avenue and parts of Broadway. 

Brewer told the council that the idea for the district was conceived by the West End Preservation Society (WEPS), which started when a few neighbors gathered in a living room on West End Avenue to talk about how they could preserve their neighborhood. Five years later, members of the group are astounded at their achievement. 

After the extension passed its first hurdle in June at the Landmarks Preservation Commission, WEPS Vice President Erika Petersen wept with joy: "It just makes me so happy to have had a hand in preserving this neighborhood," she said. 

"We are breathless. This has been such an exhilarating ride," said Petersen Thursday.