On the side of 88 Perry Street, the old building at the corner of Bleecker in Greenwich Village, there's an beautiful blue-and-white mosaic in the shape of the door. In the center, it says "Ano 1868." The story goes that, when the building was renovated in 1972, the owners commissioned Senior Rodrigues, an artist from Seville, to created a mural for a recessed part of the wall. Since then, it's become a kind of a local landmark. People use the mural as a place to meet and such like that.
Problem is, the alteration was not properly recorded with the Landmarks Commission. And now—after 37 years of letting it be—the commission wants the owner of 88 Perry Street to remove the mosaic and restore the building to its original 1972 appearance.
Now, this decision would make sense if the owner had done something abhorrently ugly to the old building back in 1972. But he added something beautiful, instead. Certainly, he should have checked in with the Commission before doing so; every landlord of a landmarked building should. But at this point, the mural should be grandfathered in as a more recent part of the building's colorful Village history.
A lot of Villagers think so, too. A petition is being circulated around the neighborhood in favor of saving the mosaic. Locals are busy cooking up other ways to put pressure on the Commission, as well. The West Village Committee, elected officials and Community Board 2 are being asked to help.
As one local aptly stated it to Lost City: "My neighbors and I feel that the Landmarks Commission should be busy safeguarding the Village from oversize commercial overdevelopment. This is what truly matters! Instead they are advocating the removal of this charming little mural."
UPDATE: There's further reporting on this matter on Curbed, in which the Commission seems to be taken a somewhat softer, if not exactly less silly, stand on the matter.