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7 Theaters on 42nd Street Fail to Make Cut for Landmark Consideration

By  Maya Rajamani and Emily Frost | February 23, 2016 6:33pm 

 These seven theaters — along with five other sites in Midtown and Hell's Kitchen — were up for consideration for landmark status.
42nd Street Theaters
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MIDTOWN — A host of theaters along 42nd Street being weighed for landmark designation were removed from a list of sites under consideration by the city, the Landmarks Preservation Commission decided Tuesday.

At a hearing addressing the status of 95 backlogged properties, seven theaters were removed from consideration, including the Times Square and New Apollo theaters at 215-223 W. 42nd St. and the Selwyn Theater at 229-231 W. 42nd St. The theaters were not included on the priority list because they are already subject to historic preservation requirements, LPC spokeswoman Damaris Olivo said Tuesday.

"The requirements are implemented by a committee, which includes a LPC-appointed member and a professional preservationist," she added.

The other theaters taken off the list were the Lyric Theater at 213 W. 42nd St., the Empire Theater at 236-242 W. 42nd St., the Liberty Theater at 234 W. 42nd St., and The New Victory at 207 W. 42nd St. 

The only property in MIdtown and Hell's Kitchen that the commission did keep on the list was the Bergdorf Goodman building on Fifth Avenue.

Additional sites that did not make the cut included the interior of the Osborne luxury apartment building at 205 W. 57th St., which was not eligible because private apartment lobbies are not open to the public, a research employee for the LPC said at the Tuesday hearing.

The Sire Building — a Victorian Gothic-style building at 211 W. 58th St. — was not prioritized because research revealed it was an “ordinary” tenement building that didn’t meet landmark requirements, the employee added.

Mission of the Immaculate Virgin West, a former Catholic charity building at 448 W. 56th St. that currently houses part of the High School for Environmental Studies, and the Hotel Renaissance building at 4 W. 43rd St. were also removed from consideration, the employee said.

“As the city’s expert body on historic preservation, the commission has spent months analyzing testimony and conducting further research on these items,” LPC chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said in a statement. “Our actions today represent an important step in addressing this backlog.”

The Bergdorf Goodman building was one of 30 out of 95 potential sites that were fast tracked for landmark designation, the LPC said.

The commission had originally planned to remove all 95 sites from landmark consideration without seeking public input, but changed its mind after preservation groups spoke out against the plan.

Long Island City’s Pepsi Cola sign, the Prince’s Bay Lighthouse on Staten Island and the Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn also made the list, the commission said.