July 27, 2010

LPC Docket Number: 110051
Manhattan, Block: 512, Lot: 7502
599 Broadway – SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District

A commercial building designed by J. Odell Whitenach and built in 1917. Application is to install storefront infill and signage.

HDC Testimony
The proposed storefront infill is an improvement over the existing conditions at 599 Broadway, but there are a few details HDC feels could be changed to make it even better.  The proposed bulkhead is rather low, and we find the height of the existing which matches that of the base of the flanking pilasters a better fit.  While the existing storefront and doors are aluminum, this project is a chance to improve the character of the base of this building, and we recommend the use of wood instead.  Finally, the paint color should be darker or match the stone of the lower two floors better.  The light color proposed calls out the enframent too much rather than letting the new storefront blend in with its surrounding base.

LPC Determination: Approved

LPC Docket Number: 106648
Manhattan, Block: 644, Lot: 60
55 Gansevoort Street – Gansevoort Market Historic District

A vernacular style store and loft building designed by Joseph M. Dunn and built in 1887. Application is to construct rooftop bulkheads, raise parapets and install railings.

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HDC Testimony
HDC finds that the various items proposed to be added to 55 Gansevoort Street are highly visible and would change the massing of this cake-slice-shaped building, particularly from the plaza on 9th Avenue.  It all is too large and too tall, more than seems necessary and should be scaled back.  If it can not be made less visible, then maybe this is just not the right spot for the project.

LPC Determination: Incomplete

LPC Docket Number: 104220
Manhattan, Block: 319, Lot: 27
17 West 17th Street – Ladies’ Mile Historic District

A Beaux-Arts style store and loft building designed by George Frederick Pelhman and built in 1907. Application is to install doors and a canopy.

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HDC Testimony
HDC finds it odd that the proposed residential entrance is modeled after the non-historic freight entrance.  The result of the project would be too transparent with a 14-foot tall entry nearly entirely of glass.  A new design featuring thicker framing needs to be found for this entrance.

Just two weeks ago the Commission agreed that glass canopies over entrances at 31-33 West 21st Street were not something appropriate for an historic store and loft building in the Ladies’ Mile.  Similarly, this project’s canopy, which is proposed to be illuminated with LED’s, should not be approved.

LPC Determination: Incomplete

LPC Docket Number: 108656
Manhattan, Block: 849, Lot: 20
23 East 20th Street – Ladies’ Mile Historic District

A neo-Renaissance style store and loft building, designed by Ervin Gollner and built in 1899-1901. Application is to alter the parapet.

HDC Testimony
HDC finds that the proposed nicely finishes the building without competing with the original cornice two floors below.  The panel though introduces something diferent to the building, a rhthym of three rather than four or one as found elsewhere on 23 East 20th Street.  The 1920’s addition matched the design and rhthym of the original 1899-1901 building extremely well, and any new pieces should be also.  Some on the committee thought the top should further finished with a small, simple cornice reflecting the Edwardian neo-Renaissance style expressed in this building, while others felt that, without historic documentation to support the addition of a cornice, the existing notched parapet was appropriate.

LPC Determination: Approved

LPC Docket Number: 100791
Manhattan, Block: 1148, Lot: 52
150 West 77th Street – Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District

A Renaissance Revival rowhouse designed by Gilbert A. Schellenger and built in 1891. Application is to construct a rear yard addition and alter the basement entrance.

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HDC Testimony
The large double doors, pilasters and cornice proposed to be added are handsome, but feel very grand for a basement entrance and instead are far more fitting for an entrance at the top of a stoop.  If the 1891 appearance is desired, then reconstructing the stoop should be explored and modelled after the one still existing at 154 West 77th Street.  Otherwise, a simpler approach should be taken as seen at the basement entries on the other houses in the row, 152 and 156.

LPC Determination: Incomplete

Comments are closed.

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