HDC@LPC – Testimony for LPC Hearing on July 17, 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 1

42-50 Jay Street – DUMBO Historic District


An American Round Arch style storehouse building designed by P. Faust and built in 1891 and a Daylight Factory style factory building with Arts and Crafts style elements built in1919-21. Application is to construct rooftop additions, alter the ground floor, paint the façade, and install windows, mechanical equipment, window boxes, and a gate.

HDC is pleased with the windows program for 42 Jay Street, which will restore the appearance of this building to its daylight factory aesthetic. Overall, the changes proposed for both buildings are sensitive. The rooftop addition on 50 Jay is well considered, well executed, and its visibility appears quiet within its context. At 42, HDC found the proposed addition to encroach excessively onto the street, and is too high and too close to the edge of the building. The proportions should be restudied and this mass should be set back and lowered to minimize this severe presence on this simple Arts & Crafts factory.

LPC determination: No Action

Item 2

301 Henry Street – Brooklyn Heights Historic District


A Federal style rowhouse built in 1833. Application is to install enclosed HVAC equipment at the front areaway.

HDC is concerned about the precedent this application would set, if approved, for permitting enclosures in front yards of rowhouse neighborhoods like Brooklyn Heights. If this HVAC equipment cannot be located on the roof, an optimal alternative could be expanding the masonry opening of the existing through-wall for a new unit and conceal this with sensitively designed iron work.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications

Item 3

394 Henry Street – Cobble Hill Historic District


A rowhouse built c. 1880s and altered prior to designation. Application is to resurface the front façade, and legalize the excavation of the front areaway and installation of a throughwall louver without Landmarks Preservation Commission permit(s).

HDC found both the presentation and scope of work quite spare for a façade intervention of this house. While it is a positive move to remove the unfortunate permastone from the face of this building, surfacing it with a cementitious paint thoroughseal will improve the building in only one way: it will make the façade all one color. While this application is in no way proposing to restore the building, we hope that a new owner will be able to correct the several mistakes of this building’s past and see a return of a cornice and façade details.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications

Item 6

708 Broadway and 404 Lafayette Street – NoHo East Historic District


Two Northern Renaissance Revival style store and loft buildings designed by Cleverdon & Putzel and built in 1896. Application is to install storefront infill, signage and an ADA bollard, and to construct rooftop mechanical additions.

While the proposed storefront regularizes the façade and is an overall improvement, there are many storefronts in NoHo that the applicant can work from to improve the details, many of which are in the application. HDC is of the opinion that this storefront, while more clean, is more about branding rather than taking cues from its context.


LPC determination: Approved with modifications

Item 4

864 Carroll Street – Park Slope Historic District


A Queen Anne style rowhouse designed by William B. Tubby and built in 1887. Application is to replace windows.

Windows are a major part of Queen Anne buildings, and facilitate the movement of one’s eye across these elaborate facades. HDC is pleased to see that this applicant appreciates the crafted quality of this house and has proposed a windows program to ensure that this aesthetic will be preserved. In the recent past, we have witnessed many applicants claim that curved glass bays are impossible, and yet this application proposes to replace the curved bay in triple-glazed. The return of divided lights to the existing double hung window are a most welcome improvement as well.

LPC determination: Approved 

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