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Seems to me that this move is a way to keep the "rif-raf" out. By next year FHA will no longer finance properties in historic districts (HUD Mortgagee Letter 09-19) so those without large down payments are out. FNMA and FMAC often follow FHA so affordable mortgages in Irvington might be a thing of the past. Trustafarians should still be ok to live there as they pay cash.

Jim Heuer

As one of the many volunteers who toiled on the Irvington National Register District project I have to say that Ed's comment about this being a move to keep the "rif raf" out is ridiculous, unless by "rif raf" he means unscrupulous developers who want to tear down perfectly good housing stock to build new construction that is destructive of the character of the neighborhood.

If anybody takes time to read the fine print in the HUD Mortgagee letter referenced in his comment, you'll see that it relates to mortgage insurance on condominums, of which there are relatively few in Irvington. Further, aside from the stupidity of the HUD policy (properties in NR Districts tend to have greater appreciation in value than comparable properties outside a district according to multiple studies by the National Trust for Historic Preservation), there is every reason to believe that the stability and predictability afforded by the NR District listing will only enhance the interest of lenders in the area.

Unlike what some reverse-elitists might suggest, Irvington has a broad mix of incomes, home sizes, and cultural backgrounds. Further, there is a substantial population of renters in Irvington's apartment buildings, many of which date to the historic period and will be protected by the NR District as well. We are delighted in the diversity of our community, and believe that the NR District will help preserve both the smaller, affordable homes and the large, grand ones, ensuring that this area will retain its healthy mix of properties.

If anything, the development most likely to be stopped by the NR District listing will be that involving the demolition of small 1910s and 1920s bungalows and cottages and their replacement with 5000 sq ft behemoths well beyond the financial reach of their neighbors. I believe that the majority of Irvington residents welcome that result of the NR District.


Yes Jim, I can see how lower income folks (your know, those people that bought before gentrification) might really appreciate some busy-body requiring them to pay for a historic design review before doing any work on their own home. When and if they get the blessing of their overreaching elitist neighbors and the city, I'm sure the materials and craftsmen required to do a "period" restoration would be a lot less expensive than DIY or other ways of fixing the place up. Maybe they would be better off selling to some "rehabber" and he can remodel those cottages into massive "old style" starter castles.

What I have seen in the NW Alphabet district is homeowners ignoring the requirements and installing vinyl windows, hardiplank siding and composition roofing on their old houses. Developers still develop but are required to do some odd "faux" designs and iconic buildings like the one that Apple proposed for NW 23rd and Glisan are blocked. Can anyone tell me how the building that Kinkos now occupies there is better or more acceptable than an iconic Apple store?

Shame on you for doing it and for spinning it when it seems obvious that the goal is to increase the values of the fancy/expensive houses there and trying to spin it as though it is good for everyone.


I live in an Irvington bungalow.
We moved here
because it has character and
charm. A hundred years from now
people will be glad we had the
foresight to preserve it's architecture.

Thank you volunteers
I hope you get Irvington historic status.

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