BY JACKIE STRAWBRIDGE
The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to calendar the clock tower, meaning it is under formal consideration for landmarking designation. The Commission will next hold a public hearing on the building – no date has yet been set, according to a spokesperson.
Although some items sit in limbo on the LPC calendar for years, even decades, special circumstances can jumpstart the designation process. Namely, if a demolition permit for the Clock Tower were to be filed at the Department of Buildings, the LPC would be notified and would have 40 days to render a designation decision.
The former Bank of Manhattan building has been the subject of a months-long landmarking campaign, which became especially urgent last November when Property Markets Group purchased the site, inspiring fears of impending demolition.
PMG could not be reached for comment as of press time.
Michael Hall and Matthew Chrislip of the design and architecture coalition +Partners have been spearheading the landmarking push. In a statement released following the LPC decision, the pair said they were “pleased,” and “optimistic” that the Clock Tower will ultimately be landmarked.
At 14 stories, the building was the tallest in Queens until the construction of the Citi tower in 1990. Decorative crests, monograms and gargoyles, vertical bands of contrasting brick and the clock face itself are among some of the building’s design features cited by Hall and Chrislip as deserving of landmark status.
In a conversation with the Queens Tribune, Chrislip said their next step will be focusing on a petition to landmark the building, so that they can present it at the public hearing.
Reach Jackie Strawbridge at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, email@example.com or @JNStrawbridge.