Friday, September 29, 2006

Automat Update: Public Hearing and Lecture

For those of you who attended the June 27, 2006 landmarks hearing for the former H&H Automat at 2710 Broadway (at West 104th Street), we have some good news. It was so much fun that we get to do it again on October 17 (time to be announced). Our email’s tone is lighthearted, but we take this second public hearing seriously. The building’s future still hangs in the balance.


Send a letter/fax/email

We have received dozens of calls, emails and letters from folks who support landmarking one of the last remaining H&H Automat buildings. Show you care about the fate of this building by inundating the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) with letters of support.

Letters should be addressed to:

Hon. Robert B. Tierney, Chair
NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
Fax: 212-669-7955
Phone: 212-669-7888

Please send copies of your letters to City Council Member Melissa Mark Viverito (, Community Board 7 ( or fax 212-603-3082 and LANDMARK WEST! ( or fax 212-875-0209).

Testify at the hearing

We also need a large turnout at the October 17 hearing. The more people who attend, the more LPC understands the importance of this building in our community. To read testimony presented by civic groups, individuals and politicians at the June hearing, visit our website: You’ll enjoy the dazzling detail photos of the polychrome terra cotta.


Learn more about the Automat and share your stories

Join us on October 25 at 6:30 p.m. for a talk by Lorraine B. Diehl and Marianne Hardart
, authors of The Automat: The History, Recipes and Allure of Horn & Hardart’s Masterpiece. Diehl and Hardart (a descendant of the Automat founder) wrote this charming tome in conjunction with the Museum of the City of New York’s fantastic Automat exhibit in 2002.

Bring your Automat anecdotes to El Taller Latino Americano, in the old Automat building. Make your reservation by calling (212) 496-8110 or emailing Admission is $25 and will support ongoing advocacy to preserve the 104th Street Automat. This event is co-sponsored by the West 102nd and 103rd Street Block Association and the West 104th Street Block Association. For more details, visit our website:

45 West 67th Street
New York, NY 10023
(212) 496-8110 (phone)
(212) 875-0209 (fax)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Dakota Stable Update


All seems quiet - for now - at the corner of 77th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, where the Dakota Stable building stands open to the elements but still significantly intact after a demolition crew ripped out most of its elegant, century-old wood windows on Wednesday night. A Stop-Work Order remains in effect, we're told, while the Department of Buildings reviews the situation.

Flashback to 1985: The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) scheduled a designation hearing for the Normandy Apartments, the famous Art Moderne building designed by Emery Roth at 140 Riverside Drive. Days before that hearing, tenants who opposed the designation began removing the building's original steel windows. The LPC turned on a dime and designated the Normandy almost immediately. Today, one can hardly imagine Riverside Drive without this landmark.

It was a brave moment for the LPC. The current facts are almost identical. On Tuesday (9/19/06), the LPC calendared the Dakota Stable, but no public hearing date has been set. The LPC has the power to take swift action when a building is in jeopardy. All eyes are on the LPC to do it again. Whether you live on the West Side, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx or Brooklyn, please contact LPC Chair Robert B. Tierney today, applaud the calendaring of the Dakota Stable, and urge him to schedule an "emergency hearing" ASAP! Any delay could be fatal for this irreplaceable building. Act now!

Hon. Robert B. Tierney
Fax: 212-669-7955
Phone: 212-669-7888

Send cc's of your emails to:
City Council Member Gale A. Brewer

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Please forgive the multiple emails of late...this one's important.

Century-Old Windows Trashed at Dakota Stable Landmark-in-Waiting

Last night, a day after the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) announced that it would hold a public hearing to consider designating the former Dakota Stable and the former New York Cab Company, workers arrived at the Dakota Stable and began ripping out the building's original, delicately arched, wooden windows. Glass crashed down onto the sidewalk and 77th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, unimpeded by the still-under-construction sidewalk shed (permits to erect the shed were obtained on Tuesday, within hours of the LPC decision to calendar the building for a hearing). See below for the result...

Landmark West! staff rushed to the scene, and a Department of Buildings inspector promptly issued a Stop Work Order for "failure to carry out demolition in a safe manner." The situation is unfolding as we write - we will follow up with more details soon.

Dakota Stable earlier this year...

...and this morning

Landmark West! has advocated for the designation of the Dakota Stable and New York Cab Company for 20 years.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Amsterdam Avenue "Stable Row" to Be Heard

Landmarks Announces Public Hearing for "Stable Row" Survivors

This morning, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) calendared a public hearing on the former Dakota Stable (77th Street and Amsterdam) and its neighbor, the former New York Cab Company (75th Street and Amsterdam). Both are rare survivors from New York's pre-automobile age, examples of only a handful of known commercial stable structures left in the city. Christopher Gray of The New York Times called the Dakota Stable a "stylistic gem" and the AIA Guide to New York City Architecture gives both buildings honorable mention. They have hefty community and elected official support. And both have been on Landmark West's "wish list" of sites that deserve landmark consideration since 1986.

When the LPC doesn't do the right thing, LW! is the first to call them on it. When they do come through, we take our hats off. Calendaring these buildings is definitely the right thing to do. So, please join us in expressing our appreciation (which can be communicated electronically by sending emails to Chair Robert Tierney at the address below). Also, please take this opportunity to reiterate your support for designation and urge the LPC to schedule a firm hearing date soon!

This campaign isn't over, not by a long shot. The stable buildings need your support now more than ever. Stay tuned! And if you're catching up with this issue, please visit for more information.

LPC Chair Robert B. Tierney
Phone: 212-669-7888
Fax: 212-669-7955
1 Centre Street
New York, NY 10007