A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from November 15, 2006
Stable Row

New York has (or had) more than one “stable row.” The “stable row” near the famous Dakota building, on Amsterdam Avenue from 75th to 77th Streets, failed to be landmarked in 2006 and were planned to ben demolished.

There was also a “stable row” on 139-151 East 24th Street in Manhattan, between Lexington and Third Avenues, where the “largest dealer of horses in the world” once operated.

24 May 1987, New York Times, “Streetscapes: The Dakota Stables” by Christopher Gray, pg. R10:
THINGS look peaceful on “stable row,” a collection of a dozen public and private garages, most of them former stables, on Amsterdam Avenue from 75th to 77th Streets.  But to a developer it is really a collection of sites crying out for development: old, low buildings, with no residential tenants, that are not landmarks—and are right in the middle of the fashionable West Side.

The biggest and, perhaps, best building is the old Dakota Garage, on a 12,000 square-foot plot at the southwest corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 77th Street.

The garage --actually built as a stable—went up in two sections from 1891 to 1894. Originally containing 158 stalls and space for over 300 carriages, it was erected by Edmund Coffin, a banker, as a real-estate investment.

12 February 1989, New York Times, “Landmarks Unit Studies Scribner Store’s Interior” by David W. Dunlap, pg. 54:
Other items on the commission’s agenda were three buildings—one still occupied by a 114-year-old saddlery—that recall the days when East 24th Street was “Old Stable Row,” the heart of New York’s horse mart. Designation of these buildings might disrupt building plans by Bernard M. Baruch College.
The buildings from 139 to 151 East 24th Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues, were once used as a stable, auction mart and arena by Fiss, Doer & Carroll, which billed itself as the “largest dealer of horses in the world.”

Two buildings are topped by broad steel arches. The smaller, No. 139, is leased by H. Kauffman & Sons Saddlery, which has been in business since 1875 and at that location since 1922.

New York Times
2 Former Stables on the Upper West Side Get Opposite Verdicts on Landmark Status
Published: November 15, 2006
In a case watched closely by New York City builders and preservationists, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted yesterday not to extend landmark status to a late-19th-century stable building on the Upper West Side from which the architectural detail has been removed. The building is to be demolished for condominiums.

In an 8-to-2 vote that followed contentious debate, the commission acknowledged that the owners of the former Dakota Stable, at Amsterdam Avenue and 77th Street, had obtained the necessary building permits to alter the building. The Related Companies, a large development concern, has a contract to buy the building from an investment group and plans to demolish it by the end of the year.

But several members of the commission said they were angered that the alterations had been made while the building was under consideration as a landmark. They said the case underscored the ability of some builders to remove what is most valued from historic buildings to avoid landmark designations.

Robert B. Tierney, the commission chairman, said the work taking place on the former stable was “very disappointing” and “pre-empts fuller consideration” of preserving it as a landmark. But he said the commission had no legal recourse, and he rejected calls by other members to declare the former stable a landmark even as it is being prepared for demolition. Such a decision, they said, would put other builders in the city on notice not to speed up their construction schedules to sidestep landmarks consideration.

“We need to draw a line in the sand here,” said Christopher Moore, a commission member who said he wanted the landmark designation approved.

The decision about the former stable building, a five-story Romanesque Revival-style structure that for most of its history has been used as a parking garage, came as the commission voted unanimously to extend landmark status to another former stable two blocks away, the New York Cab Company, at 75th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.

Both buildings were constructed in the 1890s as part of “Stable Row” on Amsterdam Avenue, which provided horses and carriages for hire to residents of the brownstones and apartment buildings that were springing up on the Upper West Side.

The Dakota Stable was a candidate for landmark designation in the 1980s, but was rejected because its ground floor had been altered. Bryan Cho, a vice president of the Related Companies, said the past rejection had given the building’s current owners, Sylgar Properties, confidence that the site could be developed.

Mr. Cho said the Related Companies, which has retained the architect Robert A. M. Stern to design a 14-story condominium on the site, would take title from Sylgar and demolish what remains of the former stable before the end of the year.


Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityStreets • (0) Comments • Wednesday, November 15, 2006 • Permalink