HDC@LPC – Testimony for LPC Hearing on July 31, 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.

NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission to schedule a new public hearing on the revised Rules Amendments

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) will be taking a vote on Tuesday, July 31, to schedule a new public hearing to discuss the revisions to the proposed Rules amendments. The hearing will most likely be in October and the revised text will be available in a few weeks. HDC thanks the LPC for reopening this action to the public and thanks everyone for voicing their concern with the original proposal.

Certificate of Appropriateness Hearing – July 31, 2018

Item 3

170 Duane Street – TriBeCa West Historic District


A building originally built in 1835-36 and altered in 1984-85. Application is to modify masonry openings and construct a rear addition.

While the existing rear façade is not particularly distinguished, filling in the setbacks and inserting large picture windows does not help its overall aesthetic, especially since the presentation made it seem as though there might be some visibility of this façade from Reade Street. We would suggest replicating the design of the existing fenestration pattern so that the addition fits in better.

LPC Determination: Approved


Item 4

163 West 76th Street – Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District


A Renaissance Revival style rowhouse designed by Henry Cook and built in 1892-93. Application is to construct rear yard and rooftop additions.

HDC finds the cumulative impact of these additions to be overwhelming to this house, the row and the interior donut, giving it the appearance of a small apartment building, rather than a late 19th century rowhouse. With such a substantial proposed rear yard addition, HDC finds the additional living space proposed for the rooftop addition – and the resulting elevator – to be excessive. We also found the terraced design of the rear yard addition to stand out too much within the context of the row, and would suggest eliminating the fourth floor bump-out.

LPC Determination: Approved


Item 6

175 East 73rd Street – Individual Landmark


An Italianate style rowhouse built in 1860. Application is to modify the existing rooftop addition, install mechanical equipment, and replace windows.

Item 7

177-179 East 73rd Street – Individual Landmark


A Beaux-Arts style garage building designed by Charles F. Hoppe and constructed in 1906. Application is to construct rooftop and rear yard additions, and replace a garage door with new glass and metal infill.

HDC is glad to see many elements of these buildings so lovingly restored, and was particularly impressed with some of the proposed interventions, including the use of glass bricks on the lot line and the corrugated metal shaft in the rear that honors the building’s original, industrial use. Our only concerns were regarding the doorway of 177-179 East 73rd Street. We fear that the proposed canopy’s location will obscure the beautiful cartouche above the door, so would suggest that it be moved up to avoid covering up this feature. We also noted in the historic photographs that the door surround, which includes the cartouche, was historically darker in color than the rest of the base, which served to align the base and the entrance with the grand central bay of the building above. Therefore, we would also suggest that this same treatment be reintroduced.

LPC Determination: Approved


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The Historic Districts Council (HDC) is the advocate for all of New York City's historic neighborhoods. HDC is the only organization in New York that works directly with people who care about our city's historic neighborhoods and buildings. We represent a constituency of over 500 local community organizations.

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