December 6, 2011

Item 5
119285- Block 270, lot 9-
163 State Street – Brooklyn Heights Historic District
A Greek Revival style rowhouse built in 1841. Application is to replace paired entrance doors.










While the LPC’s rowhouse manual is certainly a valuable resource, a landmarked house itself isthe best place to start when considering its design and what alterations should be made.  The elegant, but very simple, details of this house and its neighbors point to a more understated door treatment than the pilasters proposed. HDC finds the existing, historic entrance, clearly seen in the tax photo and similar to others on the block, is a fitting one not needing any redesign.  Rather than installing something that might have been on this house, HDC feels that it is more appropriate to repair and preserve what is there and has been for quite some time.

LPC determination:  approved (two opposed)


Item 6
125348- Block 386, lot 54-
173 Wyckoff Street – Boerum Hill Historic District
A neo-Grec style rowhouse built in the 19th century. Application is to legalize alterations to the entrance and the construction of a rooftop bulkhead without LPC permits.

As the historic tax photo and basic proportions of the doorway at 173 Wyckoff Street show, a double door is far more appropriate than a wide, three-paneled, single door.  HDC asks that the applicant work with LPC staff to find the right set of doors for this charming neo-Grec style rowhouse.

As for the illegal rooftop bulkhead, HDC finds that it is something the commission would not have approved had it come forward as a new proposal.  With a number of windows and a foot print of 8’ 10” x 13’ 8”, the addition is more a small room than it is a bulkhead.  The 9 ½-foot-tall addition is also very visible from a number of angles, sticking out like a sore thumb on an otherwise pristine row.  HDC asks that if a rooftop bulkhead is needed, a much smaller one be constructed to replace this rooftop addition.

LPC determination:  door approved, rooftop bulkhead denied


Item 7
121718- Block 1963, lot 70-
160 St. James Place – Clinton Hill Historic District
A vernacular frame house built c. 1865. Application is to construct a rear yard addition.

HDC finds that this full-width rear yard addition is too deep for its immediate surroundings.  We ask that it be pulled back to meet the additions at lots 71 and 72 instead, if not the slightly smaller one at 69.

LPC determination:  approved


Item 8
125332- Block 1073, lot 22-
36 Montgomery Place – Park Slope Historic District
A rowhouse with Romanesque Revival style Queen Anne style details, designed by C.P.H. Gilbert, and built in 1888-89. Application is to replace roof shingles.

While the change in shingles on this piece of the roof at 36 Montgomery Place would not be visible from the street, it would be nice if, in exchange for the removal of historic fabric, something a little more harmonious was installed.  Resin-base roofing painted red or EcoStar synthetic slate would both be better fits and should be considered.

LPC determination:  approved


Item 9
125518- Block 219, lot 7504-
169 Hudson Street – TriBeCa North Historic District
A Renaissance Revival style warehouse designed by James E. Ware and built in 1893-94. Application is to construct a rooftop addition.










HDC is opposed to this application as it would make an already large, visible rooftop addition all the more so.  This piece of infill would bring the existing closer to becoming a two-story rooftop addition (something the commission rarely approves), and we wonder where the infilling will end.  HDC feels that this handsome warehouse by a distinguished architect deserves better, which in this case means less.

LPC determination:  denied


Item 10
114394- Block 175, lot 8-
88 Franklin Street – TriBeCa East Historic District
A neo-Grec style store and loft building designed by J. Morgan Slade and built in 1881-83. Application is to construct a rooftop addition

Although not visible directly over the front façade of 88 Franklin Street, the proposed full-width, 14-foot tall addition would be visible at a number of other angles.  HDC asks that it be brought down in height and width to become less visible.  Some of the time, effort and money going into this proposal would also be well spent restoring the pediment of this impressive neo-Grec style store and loft building.

LPC determination:  no action


Item 12
114401- Block 535, lot 7501-
2-6 West 4th Street aka 693-697 Broadway – NoHo Historic District
A Beaux-Arts style store and office building, designed by William C. Frohne and built in 1908. Application is to install storefront infill and signage.

While we applaud the removal of roll down gates and goose-neck lamps, HDC finds the proposed storefront infill to be too flat and dark for this impressive Beaux-Arts style store and office building situated on the corner of West 4th Street and Broadway.  More thought should be put into consistent detailing and articulation so that the  storefronts become a worthy base to the Merchants Building.  We also feel that the signage is a bit too much and recommend reducing it to every other bay.

LPC determination: no action


Item 13
125349- Block 545, lot 26-
440 Lafayette Street – NoHo Historic District
A Second Empire-style carriage house designed by Edward H. Kendall, built in 1870-71 altered in 1888-1891. Application is to replace windows.










While 440 Lafayette Street is a handsome cast iron building, with 54 openings on just six stories, this late 19th-century structure’s main façade is predominantly made up of large windows.   This prominent feature should be framed in its original fabric, wood, to ensure that the overall character and feel of the historic building is not lost.

Just because a project was approved once, does not mean it needs to be again.  There is a reason Certificates of Appropriateness have expiration dates – to allow for evolving views of preservation.

LPC determination:  no action


Item 19
125089- Block 719, lot 1-
473 West 21st Street – Chelsea Historic District
An Italianate style rowhouse built in 1853. Application is to alter the roof, install rooftop mechanical equipment, railings, and stair bulkhead, and replace windows.

In general HDC finds this proposal appropriate.  We would just ask that the windows on the prominent 10th Avenue side façade be two-over-two rather than one-over-one, and that the rooftop railing, the mockup for which is readily visible as one walks north on the Avenue thanks in part to the set back of the General Theological Seminary, be kept as minimal as possible.

LPC determination:  approved with modifications


PM Item 3
121544- Block 1521, lot 11-
121 East 92nd Street – Carnegie Hill Extension Historic District
An Italianate style rowhouse designed by Jacob H. Valentine and built in 1896. Application is to construct rooftop and rear yard additions.

HDC finds that the proposed rooftop addition to be nicely sized and situated making it not visible from the public way.  A lot has been added to this tiny building over time though, and the project before you today compounds this issue.  The proposed fenestration of the rear façade would be an improvement, and we just ask that the lower floors of the addition be pulled back to meet the plane of the top floor.  The existing additions on rowhouses on the block, which appear from the block plan to be original el extensions, are only two-stories.  So while a pulled back addition at 121 East 92nd Street would not be quite as deep as the others, its full heights would be more in keeping overall.

LPC determination:  no action



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