HDC@LPC December 11, 2012

Item 1
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF QUEENS
136131- Block 8034, lot 7-
216 Beverly Road – Douglaston Historic District
A Tudor Revival style house built in 1923. Application is to replace windows modify openings, and paint the façade.

HDC approves of much of the work proposed, but we question the choice of white paint for the windows.  It is a rather drastic departure from the current dark brown, and our committee was hard pressed to recall another Tudor Revival style building with windows of that color.  Traditionally, the window should match the timbering.  If any original windows remain, HDC asks that a paint analysis be undertaken.  If the Commission does decide to approve a lighter color, we ask that another, less contrasting tone be used.

LPC determination:  approved with modifications

 

Item 3
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN
136227- Block 1383, lot 13-
11 East 68th Street aka 814-816 Madison Ave – Upper East Side Historic District
A neo-Renaissance style apartment building designed by Herbert Lucas and built in 1912-13. Application is to construct rooftop and rear yard additions, alter and infill window openings, alter the courtyard, install a new entrance door, canopy, window grilles, and lighting, replace portions of the sidewalk.

HDC finds much in this proposal to approve, but we do have concerns about the rooftop additions and the alterations to the fenestration of the building’s base.  We are opposed to the incremental creeping of the size of the additions on the rooftop.  The existing rooftop accretions are visible, and the proposed would just make them more so.

The proposed new show window, while continuing the fenestration around the corner of the Madison Avenue façade, would be out of place on the 68th Street’s façade. 11 East 68th has a very classic arrangement of commercial feel on the Avenue and a residential character along the side street.  Along with the proposed new entrance, the show window would also disrupt the very symmetrical design of this façade.  If they must be added, HDC asks that other options be explored to help these new insertions fit better.  Perhaps the entrance could be moved to the far left to balance out the show window on the far right,  the show window surround could match the profiles of the other windows with similar vertical mullions, or the existing opening could be retained and filled with a single pane of glass for a display box.  These are just a few possible solutions, and we are sure the applicant and the commission could come up with others.

LPC determination:  no action

 

Item 5
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN
136801- Block 483, lot 35-
42 Crosby Street aka 432-436 Broome St. – SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District
A parking lot and garage. Application is to demolish the existing structure and construct a new building.


The addition of a new building on this parking lot and filling in the gap in the streetfront of these lovely historic blocks are in theory a good idea.  HDC feels though that this proposed building is not the right one for the job.

With its aluminum and glass façade and square fenestration, the proposed resembles more a mid-town office building than a SoHo store and loft building.  It also lacks the texture and articulation of the many vibrant buildings in this neighborhood.

While the main section of the building’s height and massing is appropriate, we find the additional four story box on top to be wrong for the district as a whole and this block in particular.  Some blocks of SoHo have an up-and-down nature, but the building heights at this location have a strong consistency, one that would be matched by the new building if not for the four-story addition.  It is also important to consider that the district’s buildings, even the taller ones, do not feature such large, prominent set backs.

HDC asks that this upper section be removed and the details and materials reworked so that this new building may comfortably fill in the “missing tooth” here rather than stick out like a sore thumb.

LPC determination:  no action

 

Items to be heard for designation

Item 1
LP – 2523
BOROUGH OF THE BRONX
FIREHOUSE, ENGINE COMPANY 46, now ENGINE COMPANY 46/HOOK & LADDER 17, 451-453 East 176th Street

Item 2
LP – 2524
BOROUGH OF THE BRONX
FIREHOUSE, ENGINE COMPANY 73, and HOOK & LADDER COMPANY 42, 655-659 and 661 Prospect Avenue

Item 3
LP – 2525
BOROUGH OF BROOKLYN
FIREHOUSE, ENGINE COMPANY 28 (NOW ENGINE COMPANY 228), 436 39th Street

Item 4
LP – 2526
BOROUGH OF BROOKLYN
FIREHOUSE, BROOKLYN ENGINE COMPANY 40, and LADDER COMPANY 21 (now ENGINE COMPANY 240, BATTALION 48) , 1307-1309 Prospect Avenue

Item 5
LP – 2527
BOROUGH OF QUEENS
FIREHOUSE, ENGINE COMPANY 268, HOOK & LADDER COMPANY 137, 259 Beach 116th Street

HDC supports the landmarking of this group of architecturally distinctive firehouses.  They stand as handsome reminders of the city’s investment in the well-being of its residents.   Like historic schools and libraries, firehouses continue to be centers of neighborhood character and life just as they were more than a century ago, and their preservation serves us all well.

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