Note: The content Web Page was last modified in September 2003.

Certain of the Links are being modified. Some information is being incorporated in the new site. And, the old pages are being linked to some of the new pages.

Transitioning a site is an art form.

Please go to the new home page for information related to the 2005 proposal. In the fall of 2003, the LPC held a hearing and basically told the Synagogue that the 2003 tower proposal would be rejected. It is not clear if a formal vote was taken. The Synagogue claims that the LPC "approved" a building of the height of the 2005 propsal, bu thtere is no recrord of such approval.


Contact or call 212-873-1371

Please report corrections, new information, suggestions to:

Protect the Historic Nature of New York City's Landmarked West 70th Street. Oppose City Waivers to Authorize Construction of a High Rise Condominium Building, under the guise of being an economic engine to help maintain the landmarked Shearith Israel Synagogue.

Breaking News: New York Observer: August 11, 2003. Synagogue attorney Shelley Freidman admits to non-public meetings with Landmarks Commission.

August 21, 2003
New York Times Article


Home Links Documents Addresses [New Home Page 2005 ]

LATEST NEWS: Landmarks Commission sends design back for redesign. December 9, 2004: at a public LPC hearing, Commissioner Rebecca Gratz stated that she was deeply troubled by the precedent that the proposal would set. Other commissioners expressed concern about the height and bulk of the proposed building: it would seem that the Commissioner's have rejected the position that the Commission was not entitled to take this factor into consideration. The applicant Shearith Israel will no doubt submit another proposal. We are still waiting to see a dated and signed restoration proposal including a verified dated and signed report as to present conditions, a budget, sun studies, proper perspective elevations, and the names of the Commissioners who participated in non-public substantive meetings with the applicant. The hearing transcript will be posted once available from the LPC.

NOW AVAILABLE: July 1, 2003 LPC Transcript as well as documents obtained from the Landmarks Preservation Commision on July 10, 2003 pursuant to a February 2003 Freedom of Information request. Over 1000 pages and photos of 60 drawings and plans plus TRANSCRIPTS of the first two hearings. July 17, 2003. See column 1 for new postings on web site..

THE LANDMARKS PROCEEDING IS STILL OPEN: statements may still be submitted. The proceeding cannot close until the final transcript is completed and provided to the Commissioners not present. LPC still refuses to disclose which Commissioners attended ex parte meeting.

IS THIS THE ENTIRE RECORD? So LPC claims -- the written submissions by the Synagogue are sparse when compared to what some Commissioners have concluded:
One page of legal analysis.  
No shadow studies.
Only one perspective drawing. 
No written description of the so-called preservation work.
No written committments by the Synagogue as to preservation.
No records of the private meetings between commissioners and the synagogue. 
No information as to the extent of the "economic engine."

A real estate professional could estimate the total sales income to be received from the condominum. 
A development professional could estimate the construction cost of the project.
 A construction professional could estimate the cost of the restoration work and proposed work.
Someone could review the work proposed and figure out if some has already been done. Certainly the green paint on all the iron work was long ago replaced with grey and work is going on daily.
A lawyer and other professionals could analyze the legal issues presented also addressing the sparse written submission by the Friedman.
A zoning professional could provide further discussion of the zoning issues.  
An architect could discuss the importance of perspective drawings and shadow studies in reaching a substantiated finding concerning light and bulk.
An administrative lawyer could comment on the inappropriateness of the apparent extensive ex parte contacts, and the LPC refusal to disclose the contacts.
Any and all can critique the written submission on this issue and "take apart" the views of ex-chairman Paulsen at page 46 and 131 of the November 2002 hearing. As well, the one-sided "discussion" of several commissioners can be discussed - page 134 of the February hearing. Note Commissioner Kane's reference to an ex parte informal tour of the synagogue by certain Commissioners (the identity of whom has yet to be disclosed) at page 143.[As to ex-Chairman, but still Commissioner Paulsen, Peter Jennings has made some strong accusations.]

C. Virginia Fields reversed her position and decide to suppor the proposal at the July 1, hearing. A review of the many statements submitted up to an including July 1 frequently cited the opposition of Fields - but, she has now switched side. Fields could be called to account, but, certainly, all those who wrote the other statements relying on her position should know of this switch.



Master File (36MB) All documents.
Master File In Parts - List
   Above Including:
     November 2002 LCP Transcript
     February 2003 LCP Transcript
     July 1, 2003 LCP Transcript (NEW)
     C. Virginia Fields Reversal
     Peter Jennings July 1 Letter
     Rober Caro Letter
     Photos of the Model
     Photos of Drawings Plans etc.
     Landmarks West! Powerpoint
     Synagogue Handouts At Hearing Nov.
     Synagogue Handouts At Hearing July 1

New Documents August 29, 2003

Transcript LPC Hearing of July 1, 2003.

New York Times Article of August 21, 2003 re Peter Jennings.

New August 8, 2003

Text of the New York City Code and the New York City Charter for the Landmarks Commission.

New August 7, 2003

New York Observer Article, August 11, 2003. "Peter Jennings Hops to Protest Synagogue Plan" by Blair Golson.ork

New Information August 4, 2003:

Letter from Alan D. Sugarman to LPC dated August 4, 2003 re Request for Information.

Faked work: Did the Synagogue claim that restoration work already completed was not done.

Does the Synagogue engage in Intentional Disrepair and Landmark Defacement to Bolster its case?


Please submit new documents for inclusion on this web site to