The Hudson River Powerhouse Group is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the landmarking, restoration, and adaptive reuse of McKim Mead & White's IRT Powerhouse on 11th Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets. The HRPG focuses on educating the public about the history of the Powerhouse, gathering support for its landmarking, and nurturing creative designs for a reimagined Powerhouse of the 21st Century. The HRPG has asked the NYC Landmarks Preservation Comission to designate the Powerhouse a NYC landmark. By signing this petition, you're letting the LPC know that you support the landmarking of this amazing building too.
We write to urge the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate the IRT Powerhouse a New York City Landmark.
The IRT Powerhouse is, even by New York City standards, an exceptional building, and it must be protected. The Powerhouse is historically significant as a monument to the creation of the New York City subway and the city's great industrial age. Completed in 1904 by the Interborough Rapid Transit Construction Company, the mammoth structure, occupying a full city block, housed the generators that provided electricity for the City's first subway system. Though it no longer serves this purpose, it did so faithfully for over 50 years. Presently, the building is owned and operated by Consolidated Edison for steam generation.
Equally important is the IRT Powerhouse's architectural significance. Stanford White of the world-renowned architectural firm, McKim Mead & White, was the chief designer. White executed the utilitarian structure in the Beaux Arts style drawing upon Renaissance prototypes. Though the buildings cornice has been removed, many of the building's most elaborate exterior details remain. The Powerhouse is a faithful example of the City Beautiful movement that swept through the United States at the turn of the nineteenth century.
Moreover, the building provides a welcome contrast to a neighborhood rapidly becoming a morass of glass and steel.
If the Landmarks Preservation Commission exists to safeguard the City's historic, aesthetic, and cultural heritage and encourage civic pride in the beauty and accomplishments of the past, then it exists to protect the IRT Powerhouse.
We urge you to designate this building a New York City landmark so that it might survive for another 100 years to once again serve the public.
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