PRESERVING WEST END AVE.
The Upper West Side already has seven historical districts in place to preserve the neighborhood's character. But Landmark West, a preservation group, wouldn't mind having one more. "West End Avenue is like Central Park West of Riverside Drive: it's one of the grand residential boulevards of the Upper West Side," said Kate Wood, executive director of Landmark West. "We think it's a resource that's worthy of being preserved." The group is pushing for a larger historical district, notable for pre-war homes and low-rise row houses, that spans West End Avenue from West 70th to 107th streets. Currently, only two chunks of West End Avenue-between West 87th and 94th streets, and West 75th and 78th streets-have been named a historical district. The demarcation protects buildings from being demolished or altered without prior approval from the community and city's Landmark Preservation Commission. "It needs to be preserve as a whole," Wood said of the avenue. "Not piecemeal." Steve Spinola, president of the New York Real Estate Board, has been a critic in the past of the burdens and unclear protocol historic districts place on property owners. "When it comes to someone doing something necessary to maintain property," Spinola said, "it adds a serious process that could be problematic."
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