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Help save an historic building: 2 Oliver Street

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a hearing on November 5 as part of a backlog of items and will reconsider designation of 2 Oliver Street, an 1821 Federal-style two-story row house, heard but not designated in 1966 because of vigorous opposition from its owner, Trinity Church.

If you are able to testify at the November 5 hearing, please plan to do so. The Commission asks that you register and submit your testimony in advance by October 29. To so, send an email to LPC at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

If you are unable to testify in person, please send an e-mail prior to October 29 to the Landmarks Preservation Commission in support of designation. Here is a sample message you can use or customize:

I strongly support landmark designation for 2 Oliver Street, an 1821 intact Federal-style rowhouse, designed by eminent architect James O’Donnell, a rare survivor of our city’s architectural legacy in the historic Chatham Square area.

Remember to include your full name and address.

2 Oliver Street is the sole extant NYC building designed and occupied by prominent architect-builder James O’Donnell who is best known as the architect of his Gothic-inspired Notre-Dame Basilica (completed 1829) in Montreal, recognized as one of the world’s most dramatic churches. O’Donnell also designed several other buildings in NYC that no longer stand. He worked on the Fulton Street Market (1821-22, demolished 1936) while living nearby at 2 Oliver Street. The importance of preserving this intact dwelling, the only one of his buildings that survives in NYC, cannot be overstated.

It is a typical NYC Federal-style two-story row house at clad in red Flemish bond brick with brownstone lintels and sills. A third story was added ca.1850 replicating the original paneled lintels. Hundreds of these modest Federals have been destroyed or altered beyond recognition; it is extremely rare to find one extant with a known architect.

This is your opportunity to help preserve a rare survivor of our city’s architectural legacy in the historic Chatham Square area, a location important to the early years of our city’s development.