G R A M E R C Y   N E I G H B O R H O O D   A S S O C I A T E S ,   I N C .

P.O. Box 678 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY 10159

P R E F A C E   *  I N T R O D U C T I O N  *  O B J E C T I V E S

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It should be recalled that when the Gramercy Park Historic District was designated in 1966, the Landmark Preservation Commission had been in existence barely a year. The Designation Report is only five pages long, as compared with the 21 required for the addition of a singe building, 36 Gramercy Park East, in 1988. Had the original designation taken place today, many of the buildings we now propose adding would undoubtedly have been included.

When Samuel B. Ruggles created his park in 1831 he laid out Irving Place to be its chief avenue of approach. Many of the original buildings on the street now are, sadly, gone, but many which survive are unprotected in particular the houses on the west side between 18th and 19th streets. The northernmost and most vulnerable of these has the added distinction of being one of the most successful early-20th-century combinations of commercial and residential use in New York.

Landmark designation of such buildings, however, is only one of the goals of the present survey. As important a purpose is to identify places of architectural, historical, and cultural importance that have lost the attention of the immediate community.

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