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Landmarks to Hold Public Hearing on Long Island City Clock Tower Building

 The public can weigh in on whether the former Bank of Manhattan building in Queens should be landmarked.
The public can weigh in on whether the former Bank of Manhattan building in Queens should be landmarked.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

LONG ISLAND CITY — The public will be able to weigh in on whether the Clock Tower building in Queens Plaza should be designated a landmark at a meeting on Tuesday.

After the Landmarks Preservation Commission agreed to consider the former Bank of Manhattan Building for landmarking last month, it's holding a hearing concerning the designation.

Local preservationists have been pushing to preserve the building at 29-27 Queens Plaza North, which they say is an iconic focal point in the rapidly-changing neighborhood.

"I think it's just so recognizable for that area," said Christian Emanuel, one of the organizers campaigning to see the building preserved, who's father currently works out of the Clock Tower building.

"This is a highly-decorated building that survived through a lot," he said, pointing to the rapid pace of development happening in Queens Plaza and Court Square, including thousands of new apartments.

"I think the old gets more beautiful when it sticks out more," Emanuel continued.

The Clock Tower was constructed as a bank building in 1927 and was designed by Morrell Smith, the same architect behind the landmarked Jamaica Savings Bank building at 146-21 Jamaica Ave.

At 14 stories tall, organizers say it was the tallest building in Queens until 1990, when the Citigroup building went up.

The Clock Tower was purchased last year by developers who are also looking to build a 70-story apartment building directly next door, which would surpass the Citigroup building as the borough's tallest.

The building owner did not immediately return requests for comment Monday. But The Hakim Organization, which owns the site with Property Markets Group, previously told DNAinfo that they plan to work with the Landmarks Commission.

 The Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold the hearing in 1 Centre St. at 9:40 a.m. on Tuesday.