We got an email today from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation alerting us to the plan by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission to possibly de-calendar close to 100 historic buildings and structures throughout NYC. In LIC, the iconic Pepsi-Cola sign is part of this group.
The GVSHP explains the calendaring/de-calendaring scenario:
When a site has been “calendared” by the LPC, it is officially under consideration for landmark status, and the Commission can hold a public hearing and/or vote to designate the structure. Perhaps more importantly, calendaring means that no demolition, construction, or alteration permits can be granted for a site without first notifying the LPC and allowing them up to forty days to designate the structure or negotiate a change or withdrawal of the permit applications. Once de-calendared, the Commission gets no notification of such permit applications and has no power to delay their issuance, allowing these buildings to be altered or demolished at will.
So, the de-calendaring is considered by many as a blow to the efforts of preservationists. DNAinfo published an article shortly before we started writing this one with a particularly memorable quote by Susan Nial, a board member of Landmark West (they work to preserve buildings on the UWS): “It’s going to be death by bulldozer. That’s what people who want to take these buildings off the calendar want to do.”
The Mayor’s office says it will help the LPC do its job by clearing up the backlog; the Pepsi sign has been on the calendar since 1988.
Apparently the LPC is going to make its final decision on the de-calendaring on Tuesday, December 9, though no public comment will be considered at the meeting. Here’s the letter the GVSHP sent to the LPC with their concerns about the de-calendaring. You can also write to the Mayor and the LPC through this form, if you have concerns.
It’s hard to imagine that any harm would come to the Pepsi sign, since it’s such a definable element of the LIC waterfront, but you never know.