February 1, 2011

LPC Docket Number: 114240
Manhattan, Block: 1185, Lot: 25
333 West End Avenue – West End Collegiate Historic District

A neo-Venetian Gothic style apartment building desinged by Emery Roth and built in 1925. Application is to legalize the installation of AC condensers without LPC permits.

HDC Testimony
When condenser units are proposed for the roof of a landmark building, be it a row house or a tall apartment building, measures are taken to ensure it is as minimally visible as possible.  Similarly, when they are proposed to be installed next to houses in more suburban districts like Douglaston, the condensers are placed on secondary facades and are carefully hidden with trellises, shrubbery, and the like.  The installation of condensers in plain site blocking up the windows of this Emery Roth apartment building would never have been found appropriate as a proposal for new work, and HDC urges the commission to reject this proposal for legalization.

LPC Determination: Denied

LPC Docket Number: 115094
Brooklyn, Block: 1103, Lot: 12
446 14th Street – Park Slope Historic District

A late Romanesque Revival style rowhouse built in 1895-95. Application is to legalize the painting of the façade and the installation of a lampost without LPC permits.

HDC Testimony
HDC finds that, while it is unfortunate that this rowhouse was first painted illegally by previous owners, it is not the type of work the Commission would have approved had it come here as a proposal for new work.  In 2008, the Commission denied legalizing the painting of the façade of nearby 470 14th Street, and we urge you to do the same here.  Legalizing the work would basically ensure that 446 14th Street will be forever covered in paint.

As for the lamppost, it might be appropriate as such things are typical features in the Park Slope Historic District.  The only information provided on this element though at Public Review on Friday was photos of it behind a parked car.  HDC would just like to make sure that it matches other lampposts on the block in material, size, and design.

LPC Determination: Approved with modifications

LPC Docket Number: 115079
Manhattan, Block: 553, Lot: 6
388 Sixth Avenue – Greenwich Village Historic District

A Modern style bank building built in 1941 and altered in 1955 and 1969. Application is to install illuminated signage.


HDC Testimony
Although altered, this former Manufacturers Hanover Trust Bank is part of the Greenwich Village Historic District and any additions or changes should be carefully considered within the context of the building’s history and the surrounding district.  HDC was going to suggest that a master paln be considered.  We are glad to hear that there is one and feel that it should be adhered to or reconsidered as a whole.  Rather than the brightly colored, halo-lit letters proposed, plain aluminum letters, similar to earlier signage, or neon, a more period-appropriate illuminated signage, should be considered.

LPC Determination: Approved

LPC Docket Number: 115524
Manhattan, Block: 574, Lot: 1
442 Sixth Avenue, aka 71 West 10th Street – Greenwich Village Historic District

A house built in 1834-1835. Application is to alter the ground floor, storefront infill and signage.

republic bank

HDC Testimony
HDC applauds much of the work proposed here and finds it a much more subdued, tasteful project than what is often offered by banks or other chains.  The return of brick on the side wall is welcomed, and the signage is in keeping with the building.

More information is needed though on the storefront.  The material is simply labelled “light bronze” on the presentation boards.  Is this real bronze?  Or another material colored bronze?  Neither would be particularly appropriate.  The storefront should be either painted metal or painted wood.  As always, time and care should be spent on the details.  The storefront drawings show very little detail and come off looking rather flat and temporary.  The bulkhead, a nice on touch on the rest of the storefront, should continue on the door.  We were interested to see that a cast iron and a browstone column were uncovered, but these pieces do not seem to have made it into the plan of the new storefront.  If this historic fabric cannot be used, at the very least its design should be incorporated.

LPC Determination: Incomplete

Comments are closed.

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