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Morningside Heights Historic District Hearing Set for Next Week

By Emily Frost | December 1, 2016 2:29pm
 The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine will be considered for landmark designation.
The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine will be considered for landmark designation.
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MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS — A long-awaited hearing on the creation of a historic district in Morningside Heights and the landmarking of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine is slated for next week, officials said.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a hearing on the proposed 115-building district, as well as the individual landmarking of the cathedral, on Tuesday, Dec. 6, the agency said. 

Residents have been pushing for a historic district in the neighborhood for at least 20 years.

This spring, Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell launched an online campaign for the district, and in September, the Morningside Heights Historic District Committee started a similar petition.  

Previously, the LPC's map for the historic district excluded the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, to the dismay of locals and preservationists. 

While the proposed district excludes the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, a collection of seven buildings that includes the cathedral and the area around it will be considered for individual designation by the commission. 

Residents bemoaned the loss of views of the cathedral when a 14-story luxury residential building went up next to it, part of a deal made by the church to generate income to preserve and restore the aging structure. Work began on the cathedral in 1892 and it is still considered unfinished. 

A representative from St. John the Divine did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday regarding whether it supports the landmark designation.