Landmarks chief agrees to meetings

Jim Smith, chairperson of Community Board 2, reported he and Aubrey Lees, the board’s former chairperson, had breakfast with Robert Tierney, chairperson of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, on Nov. 6 to discuss restarting Landmarks’ meetings with Board 2’s Preservation Group, and that the talks were positive.

Lees is continuing as the chairperson of the Preservation Group, which she set up during her term as chairperson, and which previously met monthly with Sherida Paulsen, the former Landmarks chairperson, to discuss Village landmarking efforts.

According to Smith, Tierney has agreed to meet face-to-face with delegates from the Preservation Group. However, Smith reported, Tierney said because he feels Board 2’s landmark issues “are well-known to L.P.C., and as the landmarking process is not necessarily a direct, preset number of steps, meetings will be from time to time rather than every month.”

Moreover, as Smith tells it, Tierney said that regularly scheduled meetings with a group from one part of the city would set a precedent that would not be feasible to observe with similar groups.

As Smith put it: “Tierney stresses the Commission’s obvious sincerity in considering C.B. 2’s requests and points out past designations, most recently, the Gansevoort Market. Up for consideration now [by Landmarks], among other things, are sites in the South Village and expanded coverage in the West Village. And the Maritime Mile is not ruled out. The Mile may not have much in the way of ‘distinguished’ architecture, but it has distinctiveness, flavor, history, all of which is being eaten up by the kind of new constructions we don’t want. Getting approval is not impossible, says Mr. Tierney, but it will be ‘a heavier lift.’”