West Village church plans 153-foot tower at parking lot

The Church of Saint Luke in the Fields at 487 Hudson Street plans to build a 15-story, 153-foot residential tower …

The Church of Saint Luke in the Fields at 487 Hudson Street plans to build a 15-story, 153-foot residential tower at what is currently a parking lot at 100 Barrow Street.

The church also wants to add two stories to its school at 657 Greenwich St. But the plan is a controversial one that is drawing criticism from residents, neighborhood community groups and preservation activists who want to maintain the block’s existing building scale since it is located in the Greenwich Village Historic District. 

The church wants to erect the building so that they could bring in funds for its private school’s expansion, and construct a new mission building. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation said that though there is room for the church and school to continue to grow on the block, and though the parking lot is an acceptable site for construction they take issue with the height, scale and material of the proposed tower, as well as the additions to the school.

“We are also concerned about the overall relationship between the proposed new buildings and existing ones,” they wrote on their website.

According to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, a Landmarks Preservation Commission public meeting held on March 11 did not yield an approval. The LPC asked that the height of the tower be lowered and commissioners felt the design was “overly complex with too many materials and setbacks.”

According to the Historic Districts Council, the LPC also wants the building to be built facing away form the low-rise district so that it is less of a confrontation.

Before moving forward the plan needs a certificate of appropriateness from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The church is working with the LPC to obtain a certificate of appropriateness and working with them to build a building that suits their standard.

“We are absolutely moving forward with building a residence on our parking lot and look forward to presenting updated designs to LPC soon,” said Mother Caroline Stacey, Rector of the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, in a statement. “We have always understood that this would be a fluid process and that flexibility would be required.”