The General Theological Seminary announced on April 3, 2007 that it was withdrawing
plans to build a new 15-story building along its Ninth Avenue frontage. That
building would have requried a waiver of existing height limits and was faced
with large-scale community opposition. GTS will instead present a proposal to
its Board in mid-May that involves the construction of two new buildings - a
seven-story mixed-used residential building along Ninth Avenue, and a five-story
administriation building along 20th Street. These buildings are currently being
designed. They will not require the waiver of the existing 75-foot height limit.
GTS reports in its press release regarding its decision that the new residential
building will provide the funding needed for the new administration building,
but will not provide the funds needed for renovation and restoration of the rest
of their historic property.
The General Theological Seminary had previously submitted plans for the
taller building to the Landmarks Preservation Commission on December 26, 2006.
The application was for three Certificates of Appropriateness: (i) the
demolition of Sherrill Hall, including the "Deanery", fronting Ninth Avenue
between 20th and 21st Streets; (ii) a new building to be built on the same
footprint; and (iii) a new building to be built along a portion of the 20th
Street frontage adjacent to the West Building. PDF's of the text portions of the
old application can be found at left.
Manhattan Community Board 4 voted on February 7, 2007 to oppose GTS's
landmarks applications. The Board's letter to the Landmarks Preservation
Commission is available at left.
GTS brought an earlier version of their proposal to the Board in Fall, 2005.
A public meeting was held on November 21, 2005 resulting
in a January 4, 2006 letter outlining the Board's concerns about the project,
available at left.