Thursday, October 30, 2014

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Board Strikes Down Historic Chelsea Row House Add-On

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City preservationists are celebrating a victory in the fight to prevent changes to a Chelsea row house that served as Manhattan's only stop on the Underground Railroad.

The City's Board of Standards and Appeals refused to grant a request by the owners of the Hopper Gibbons House to keep a fifth floor addition to the landmarked property.

The board said the Landmarks Preservation Commission must decide if the addition can stay.

Preservationists want it removed.

The 10-unit building on West 29th Street was once owned by abolitionists James Sloan Gibbons and Abby Hopper Gibbons.

It survived an 1863 fire during the Civil War draft riots.

On Sunday, advocates told NY1 that the construction is illegal due to its landmark designation.

They said that such an important part of our nation's past needs to be preserved.

"Something historic has been defaced and erased and gotten rid of," said Julie Finch of Friends of Hopper Gibbons House.

"It's like lopping off a piece of history with a serrated knife," said Fern Luskin of Friends of Hopper Gibbons House.

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