Notes From the Neighborhood: Preservationists Target UWS Site

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Compiled by Megan Bungeroth and Josh Rogers

The Preservation League of New York, a statewide group, has added the IRT Powerhouse building on West 59th Street and 11th Avenue to its "Seven to Save" list of historic sites it will push to preserve by achieving landmark status or securing other means of assured preservation. Local preservation advocacy group Landmark West! has also jumped on the Save the IRT bandwagon and is supporting the campaign.

The Beaux Arts building, opened in 1904 to generate power for the city's first subway line, was designed by Stanford White of the firm McKim, Mead and White. Now it's owned and operated by Con Edison, which uses only a small part of the building to generate steam power.

"By virtue of its architecture and pivotal location, the Powerhouse has captured the imagination of developers and investors, who recognize its potential for vibrant adaptive use as a mixed-use space, with its energy functions relocated to a more efficient, sustainable facility," read the League's press release.

Because ConEd has already demolished other historic powerhouses and West Side waterfront development continues to spread, preservationists are worried that the IRT Powerhouse will suffer the same fate; hence the preemptive campaign.

Compiled by Megan Bungeroth and Josh Rogers

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