Testimony in Support of Proposal for the
Expansion of the Madison Square North Historic District
June 11, 2015

My name is Richard N. Gottfried. I represent the 75th Assembly District in Manhattan, which includes the neighborhoods of Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen/Clinton, Midtown, part of the Upper West Side, Madison Square Park and the area around it. I regret that I am unable to testify today in person.

I support the proposed Madison Square North Historic District Extension to expand the existing district northeast, east, southwest, and west and add approximately 150 buildings. The area of this expansion deserves the protection and honor that landmark designation brings.

The historically significant buildings with unique architecture located in this area are filled with rich history and complement the buildings located in the existing district. It is important that we preserve this history by protecting these buildings from demolition and inappropriate alteration. These buildings and institutions have served the community well and should continue to bring life and enjoyment to the many who make this area a special place to live, work, and visit.

I understand that there are property owners who are opposed to this expansion. I believe that with this designation, the value of properties in the area is likely to increase. Experience shows us that some of the most successful commercial areas in New York City are in NYC Historic Districts - SoHo, the Ladies' Mile, Madison Avenue, and Park Avenue are areas that have seen remarkable growth and prosperity after designation.

I join the members of the community and my fellow elected officials who have been pushing for this landmark status for several years and urge the Board to support the plan to extend the Madison Square North Historic District.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit this statement.