LES/East Village Historic District

The EVCC has advocated for years for landmarks protection of the LES/East Village. In July, Community Board 3 voted to support the two proposed historic districts in our neighborhood. Historic Districts preserve architectural character and protect neighborhoods from inappropriate alteration, demolition, and out-of-scale development. The next step is a hearing at the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). We will alert you when LPC sets a date for the hearing. UPDATE: The East 10th Street Historic District was designated by LPC on January 17th. LPC has set June 26, 2012 as the hearing date for the proposed LES/East Village Historic District.

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4th Annual Lower East Side Kids’ Art Bike Parade

Serving as a celebration of the improved East Side greenway and sustainable transportation, the fourth annual Lower East Side Kids’ Art Bike Parade was held in East River Park on April 30. The Parade was held in conjunction with the NYC Dept. of Transportation and Partnership For Parks ‘Bicycle Bonanza’, a day-long celebration of safe bicycling. Neighbors enjoyed bicycle decorating, DOT bicycle helmet fittings and giveaways, a free Learn-to-Ride class from Bike New York, bicycle tune-ups from Recycle-a-Bicycle, face painting and the Bike Parade in the park.

Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh and Senator Daniel Squardon led the parade along with officials from the NYC Department of Transportation. Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and City Councilmember Rosie Mendez also participated and helped tune up bicycles.

City To Consider Historic Districts

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) released plans for two historic districts in our neighborhood. The districts being considered are Tompkins Square North (E 10th Street between Avenue A & Avenue B) and E 2nd Street to E 7th Street between Bowery and Avenue A.

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East Side Sustainable Streets

EVCC recently co-hosted the launch of the East Side Action Plan – A Community Vision For Safer Streets. The Action Plan, compiled by our safe and sustainable streets partner Transportation Alternatives, is a powerful document with the goal of reducing vehicle crashes on Manhattan’s East Side by 50% over the next five years.

Green Streets - The M15 bus makes a stop in its new bus-only lane on 1st Avenue - photo courtesy EV Grieve
Green Streets – The M15 bus makes a stop in its new bus-only lane on 1st Avenue – photo courtesy EV Grieve

Along with hundreds of East Side volunteers and elected officials from Chinatown to East Harlem, EVCC helped develop the plan. We look forward to making our streets safer for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists by collaborating with Community Board 3 and our elected leaders. The Action Plan can be downloaded here.

And speaking of safe and sustainable streets, please mark your calendars for the 4th Annual Lower East Side Kids’ Art Bike Parade. The event will be held Saturday, April 30th. Please stay tuned for more details very soon!

Annual Cocktail Party Recap

EVCC Fundraiser a Success!

Local songwriter James Maddock played an intimate acoustic set, including hits from his latest album, Sunrise on Avenue C, at The Wild Project October 4 at the annual East Village Community Coalition cocktail party. More than 50 guests, including State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, celebrated the ongoing advocacy efforts of the EVCC.

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EVCC Membership

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We ask you to visualize 10 years into the future of the Lower East Side.

Will there be small, locally-owned shops?  Will there be a dedicated historic district that protects against inappropriate development?  Will there be improved alternative transportation options such as bicycling and faster buses?  Will our neighborhood maintain its artistic and cultural heritage?

As an advocate for the unique character of the Lower East Side and East Village, these are questions we continually ask.  Recent efforts include:

  • Researching opportunities to bring Formula Retail Zoning (FRZ) regulation to our neighborhood to fight the proliferation of chain stores and franchises (click here for our FRZ video)
  • Producing the Get Local Guide to East Village Shops , a vital tool that educates our neighbors about the importance of supporting local merchants
  • Collaborating to make our neighborhood more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly, and producing the Kids’ Art Bike Parade
  • Fighting to save historic buildings in an effort to gain landmark status and proposing districts to the Historic Districs Council
  • Working with neighbors to stop the proliferation of loud bars and ensuring a healthy mix of retail outlets

To continually pursue these initiatives, we need your support.  Please become a member today!

Historic East Village Structure Needs Your Support!

59e2arWe need your support in asking the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to designate the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, at 59-63 East 2nd Street, as a Landmark.  The LPC held a hearing in March for landmark designation but did not take a vote at the hearing.

The Cathedral was constructed in 1891, designed by the reknowned architect Josiah Cleveland Cady, who later designed the Metropolitan Opera House and the auditorium of the American Museum of Natural History.  The Cathedral fits as an historic whole with the already-landmarked Marble Cemetery across East 2nd Street.  Neighborhood support is necessary in encouraging Community Board 3 and the Landmarks Preservation Commission towards designating the Cathedral as a Landmark.  As a first step, PLEASE sign our online petition and please include your name and address in the comments section.

Pedal Power 2010: Kids’ Art Bike Parade

two kids parading rEarly rain showers could not keep the families, artists, and sun away at the third annual Kids’ Art Bike Parade in Tompkins Square Park on May 8th. Serving as a celebration of sustainable streets improvements in our neighborhood, the event was a huge success. Neighbors enjoyed bicycle decorating, DOT bicycle helmet fittings and giveaways, face painting, balloon animals, youth yoga, a Learn-to-Ride class from Bike New York, bicycle tune-ups from Recycle-a-Bicycle and Five Borough Bike Club, the Bike Parade, and an amazing price raffle!

Heelz On Wheelz energized the crowd with their Bike Safety Dance followed by Rude Mechanical Orchestra’s uplifting performance. Grand Marshal Rosie Mendez and Co-Marshals Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and State Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh led the parade out of Tompkins Square and south along Avenue A.

Lower East Side kids showed the joy of riding bicycles and the need to support sustainable and active transportation in our neighborhood. EVCC applauds recent DOT and MTA improvements in the area and awaits further improvements, especially protected bus and bicycle lanes on 1st and 2nd Avenues this fall.

EVCC gave away over 35 bikes to kids from the neighborhood. Refreshments were donated by the 4th Street Food Co-op, GuS Soda, Ninth Street Espresso, Whole Earth Bakery, and Butter Lane. LES Girls Club volunteers spun their wheels making bicycle-powered smoothies. Two Boots Pizza, SkipHop, Sustainable NYC, Manhattan Portage, and LES Peoples’ Mutual Housing Association generously donated prizes for the free raffle. New York Cares provided 25 volunteers for the event and 10 volunteers painted Bike Parade banners. Their time, energy, and passion was critical in the success of the event. EVCC thanks all the volunteers, co-sponsors, and participants for making the Third Annual Kids’ Art Bike Parade a success!

East Village Landmarks Hearing!

Russian Orthodox Cathedral – 59 E 2nd Street


In 2008 EVCC became aware of plans to erect an eight-story condo tower atop the Russian Orthodox Cathedral at 59 E 2nd Street in our neighborhood.  Thankfully that threat is gone, due in large part to the rezoning of the East Village which prohibits such construction.  But, the 150-year-old building remains vulnerable – THIS IS WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT AT THE LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMITTEE (LPC) MEETING!

On Tuesday, March 23 the LPC will hold a hearing on a proposal to landmark the structure.  EVCC, along with the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, urged this designation in a letterto the LPC in 2008.

Date:  Tuesday, March 23

Time:  10:50 a.m.

Location:  LPC Hearing Room, Municipal Building, One Centre Street (at Chambers), 9th Floor.  Bring Photo ID to enter the building.

Please email director.evccnyc@gmail.com if you plan to attend!



When: Thursday, February 4th, 6:30 PM

Where: PS 20, 166 Essex Street

What: Community forum to discuss the NY State Liquor Authority’s work in the Lower East Side and East Village

For more information, please contact Mary Cooley at 212.298.5565 or mcooley@senate.state.ny.us