June 22, 2010

LPC Docket Number: 108711
Manhattan, Block: 1385, Lot: 1
1 East 70th Street, Frick House – Individual Landmark,  Upper East Side Historic District

A French Louis XVI style mansion designed by Carrere & Hastings, built in 1913-14 and altered by John Russell Pope in 1931-35. Application is to enclose a loggia.

HDC Testimony
HDC congratulates the Frick Collection on its 75th anniversary as a museum.  In 1930 Trustees, fulfilling Henry Clay Frick’s will that his home and collections become a gallery, hired John Russell Pope to design additions to the original mansion.  As the designation report notes, Pope “faithfully maintained” the French Louis XVI character of the Carrere & Hastings designed mansion, a building that was barely 20-years-old at the time of the construction of the addition.  In the half century since, Pope’s additions and Carrere & Hastings’ mansion have harmoniously created one of the finest examples of French Louis XVI architecture, and arguably one of the most serene, elegant spots, in New York City.

We find that the proposed alterations to be too great a change to this design, to what the designation report describes as a “charming loggia.”  Beyond the effects of the glazing, the framing of the infill will be noticeable, particularly on the tall arches on the corner.  The addition of a fan light, thick transom bar, muntins, mullions, and a base drastically change the impression of the now airy spaces.  If the Commission deems that the loggia must be filled in, the glass should be set back and framing kept to an absolute minimum in order to maintain the appearance of openness.

In September of last year, the Commission found that it could not approve a proposed master plan for terrace enclosures at the Breevort, 11 Fifth Avenue in the Greenwich Village Historic District.   If enclosing open space is too great a change in design and not permissible on the upper floors of a 1956 apartment building in a district designated in 1969, then certainly it is a drastic change on the ground floor of a mansion that is not only within an historic district, but is also an individual landmark.

LPC Determination: Approved

LPC Docket Number: 093560
Manhattan, Block: 1167, Lot: 29
201 West 75th Street aka 318-330 Amsterdam Avenue, New York Cab Company Stable – Individual Landmark

A Romanesque Revival style commercial stable building designed by C. Abbott French and built in 1888-90. Application is to replace windows.

HDC Testimony

On a low-scale, individual landmark such as the New York Cab Company Stable, historic wood windows should be replaced with windows of the same material with matching details.  The muntin details of the proposed are lacking, and, with the number of other wood components to be used, wood sashes do not seem to be too much to ask for.

LPC Determination: Approved

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