HDC@LPC – Testimony for LPC Hearing on April 24, 2018

HDC regularly reviews every public proposal affecting Individual Landmarks and buildings within Historic Districts in New York City, and when needed, we comment on them. Our testimony for the latest items to be presented at the Landmarks Preservation Commission is below.

Item 2

35-25 87th Street – Jackson Heights Historic District 

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1920765

An Anglo-American Garden Home style attached house designed by C.F. McAvoy and built in 1925. Application is to legalize the replacement of windows, stoop, and paving, and the installation of a fence without Landmarks Preservation Commission permit(s).

HDC is opposed to the legalization of the removed windows finding that the six-over-six double hung windows are a defining characteristic of this group of otherwise simple, brick houses. We would also like to note that being a corner building, the side façade is highly visible, making the windows an even more prominent feature. In regard to the fence, we would recommend that the applicant investigate more visually appealing alternatives.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications

 

Item 3 

259 Henry Street – Brooklyn Heights Historic District 

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1922858

A Federal style house built in 1833 and altered in the late-19th century. Application is to install dormer windows and remove a chimeny.

HDC recognizes that dormers are a common addition to the block and neighboring houses, but finds the proposed to be much more prominent than the others. We would suggest setting it farther back, possibly by 2 or 3 feet. We would also like to voice our concern over a water management issue caused by the lack of a gutter on the shed dormer, which would likely result in a problematic flow of water.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications

 

Item 4

10 Schermerhorn Street – Brooklyn Heights Historic District 

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1919349

An Anglo-Italianate style rowhouse buil c. 1849. Application is to alter the rear façade and replace a window at a visible secondary façade.

The proposed scheme for the top floor of the rear façade would effectively erase evidence of this façade’s original fenestration. HDC suggests, instead, that the applicant elongate the smaller window to create a pair of doors, rather than one giant masonry opening.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Item 8

275 Canal Street – SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District 

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1923074

A Queen Anne style store building designed by Charles Haight and built in 1878. Application is to replace windows and storefront infill.

HDC would like to give credit where it’s due, and applauds the applicant for restoring the original cast-iron storefront. The building, being located on a heavily-trafficked street, will allow for many people to enjoy these improvements.

LPC determination: Approved

 

Item 9

144 West 14th Street – Individual Landmark 

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1922913

A Renaissance Revival style loft building designed by Brunner & Tyron and built in 1895-96. Application is too install storefront infill and flagpoles.

Given that the scope of work includes this building’s entire storefront, an opportunity exists to bring the building in the right direction with a consistent and comprehensive restoration. As such, HDC would prefer to see a scheme that is based on a thorough investigation into this building’s historic storefront configuration. The program as proposed appears quite flat, while the tax photo and the wood pilasters directly above the main entrance provide evidence of depth and dimension at this building’s base. We ask the Commission to instruct that a more restorative approach be taken for this very prominent Individual Landmark.

 

Item 10

11 East 26th Street aka 11-13 East 26th St – Madison Square North Historic District 

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS, Docket #1920373

A neo-Gothic style store and lofts building designed by Rouse & Goldstone and built in 1912-13. Application is to modify an entrance surround and install entrance infill.

HDC applauds the restoration of the entrance surround, and especially wishes to thank the applicant for executing the work in the original materials found on this building – granite, bronze, Indiana limestone. However, we would advocate for finishing the job and including the restoration of the arched transom’s tracery detail. Given the fact that the base of this building has been compromised by the museum’s insensitive infill, a full and proper restoration of the Gothic style entrance would go a long way to improving the overall effect at the street level.

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