An 82-year-old preservationist is single-handedly waging war against a 1,645-foot mega-tower that’s set to go up next to Grand Central — claiming the behemoth building would mar the “heart of New York.”
Christabel Gough, the secretary of the Society for the Architecture of the City, filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court Wednesday seeking to stop the project at 175 Park Avenue, which the complaint says would “completely overwhelm and resign to utter insignificance the grandeur of Grand Central.”
“I came here with my grandfather when I was a small child,” Gough told The Post.
“This is the heart of New York and it should be protected. Why do we have a landmarks law if not to protect buildings like Grand Central?”
Developed by RXR Realty and TF Cornerstone, the proposed building would be more than five times the size of the 26-story Grand Hyatt hotel its replacing on East 42nd Street.
In her suit, Gough marvels over the transportation hub that she says she “regularly frequents” to enjoy its “beauty, historic and architectural eminence and cultural significance.”
She is accusing the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission of issuing an advisory opinion, instead of greenlighting the 83-story structure with a formal opinion, which is legally required and entails a higher bar for approval.
The LPC should have required the MTA, as the owner of Grand Central, to file an application for a “certificate of appropriateness” for the project — since it will alter the terminal and its viaduct, the court papers say.
But instead, the LPC allowed the MTA to merely file a request for a “report and recommendation” — a more relaxed and non-binding standard for project proposals, the filing alleges.
The LPC issued that report and recommendation in February.