December 7, 2010

LPC Docket Number: 114104
Brooklyn, Block: 310, Lot: 3
439-445 Hicks Street aka 126-140 Baltic Street – Cobble Hill Historic District

Model tenement buildings designed by William Field & Son and built in 1876-77. Application is to establish a master plan governing the future installation of windows.
LPC Docket Number: 100174
Brooklyn, Block: 305, Lot: 1
417-435 Hicks Street aka 132-142 Warren St. – Cobble Hill Historic District

A model tenement building designed by William Field & Son and built between 1878 and 1879. Application is to establish a master plan governing the future installation of windows.

HDC Testimony
While we appreciate the return of arched windows to housing reformer Alfred Tredway White’s Home and Tower Buildings, HDC finds that the proposed are only a marginal improvement over the existing conditions.  Windows are prominent pieces of these buildings’ design and history – sunlight and ventilation were after all prime considerations for these model tenements, precursors to White’s Riverside Buildings.  The proposed windows lack depth, have very thin mullions and no profile at all along the perimeter.  Wood would be ideal here, but at the very least windows with an extruded profile resembling wood should be used.

LPC Determination: Approved

LPC Docket Number: 095591
Brooklyn, Block: 274, Lot: 1001
300 Henry Street aka 117-119 Atlantic Avenue – Brooklyn Heights Historic District

An altered Greek revival style building originally built in 1840-1849. Application is to install an areaway railing.

HDC Testimony
While HDC does not necessarily object to an areaway rail, the proposed is rather fussy for this simple, little 1840s building.  The example shown of a similar railing is not on a similar building; it is on an elaborate corner rowhouse with a bay window and a stoop.  Perhaps other fences on this block could be helpful models instead.  Besides finding a simpler fence that is compatible with the straight clean lines of the building, the configuration should reflect that of the ground floor fenestration, with the gate placed in front of the door to the side, not in the center.

LPC Determination: Approved

LPC Docket Number: 113424
Brooklyn, Block: 2089, Lot: 32
180 Washington Park – Fort Greene Historic District

A French Second Empire style rowhouse, designed by Joseph H. Townsend, and built c. 1866. Application is to alter the rear façade of a visable rear yard extension.

fort greene

HDC Testimony
HDC finds that this application takes an already unfortunate situation – a visible, inharmonious rear yard extension – and makes it worse by creating a very blank, flat façade.  The last two houses in this row have highly designed rear façades.  The design of the extension should pick up on some of these rich details.  At the very least lintels, sills, and multi-pane windows should be incorporated into the new façade.

LPC Determination: Incomplete

LPC Docket Number: 113350
Brooklyn, Block: 1144, Lot: 41
622 Bergen Street – Prospect Heights Historic District

An Italianate style flats building designed by Christopher P. Skelton and built in 1889. Application is to construct a rooftop addition.

Prospect Heights

HDC Testimony
The presentation boards at Public Review on Friday were from an earlier itteration, and HDC’s comments are based on those.  The rooftop addition is quite visible down the street and over the rear façade from the community garden.  The dark color only intesifies its rather looming quality.  622 is in the middle of a row of eight Italianate style flats buildings designed by Christopher P. Skelton in 1889.  None of these buildings currently has a rooftop addition, and it would be unfortunate if this one started a visible trend.  Although the architect has clearly thought this project out and has worked to decrease its visibility, this just might be one of those cases where a rooftop addition of this size is not appropriate.

LPC Determination: Incomplete

LPC Docket Number: 111274
Manhattan, Block: 485, Lot: 7
70 Greene Street – SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District

A store and tenement building built in 1860 and altered in 1872. Application is to request that the LPC issue a report to the City Planning Commission relating to an application for a Modification of Use pursuant to Section 74-711 of the zoning resolution.

HDC Testimony
HDC often finds 74-711 work plans to be lacking the significant restoration work that the measure was designed to encourage and have testified to this issue on a number of applications.  We were quite surprised and happy to see the impressive restoration proposed for 70 Greene Street from the installation of granite sidewalk flags to the replacement of missing fire shutters and the installation wood, divided light windows on the rear façade. HDC supports this application and hopes that it is remembered as a standard for the type of restorative work worthy of granting a 74-711.

LPC Determination: Incomplete

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