Certificate of Appropriateness Testimony

HDC@LPC – June 26, 2012

Item 5
130180- Block 530, lot 7504-
50 Bond Street – NoHo Historic District
A Classical Revival style store and loft building designed by Cleverdon and Putzel and built in 1896-97. Application is to alter a roof deck.

While the proposal is to alter a roof deck, the walls make it more akin to a rooftop addition, just one that happens to not have a ceiling.  HDC finds the proposed to be too visible from too many locations to be appropriate.  In April of this year, the commission did not approve a a plan that would have expanded existing rooftop additions at the neighboring Bouwerie Lane Theater, and we ask that similar consideration be taken here.

LPC determination: approved with modifications


Item 6
131429- Block 621, lot 24-
91 Charles Street aka 368 Bleecker St – Greenwich Village Historic District
A rowhouse built between 1847 and 1853. Application is to construct a barrier-free access ramp.

As applications for barrier-free access increase, creative ways should be considered to ensure that they blend in with historic streetscapes.  The proposed railing which is similar in style to the adjacent fences is a good start.  HDC suggests continuing the rails down to the ground right in front of the ramp so that it reads more like a fence.

LPC determination:  approved


Item 12
129676- Block 229, lot 1-
341 Canal Street – SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District
A vacant lot. Application is to construct a new six-story building.

While the proposed is identical to what was approved under a now-expired Certificate of Appropriateness, it is a good example of why such certificates have expiration dates.  It gives the opportunity to review what might have once been considered appropriate, but may not be seen so now.  The proposed is a very flat, watered-down version of this very architecturally vibrant neighborhood.  The flat aluminum panels and unbroken straight lines of the verticals and horizontals lend more a feel of an undistinguished mid-town office building.  In particular, a stronger corner is needed.  It seems strange that while the ends of the building feature slightly different bays that set them off, the corner has no distinction.  Without any of the curves, articulation or shadows that make SoHo distinctive, the building is hardly an appropriate addition to the richest stock of cast-iron architecture in the world.   With the previous approval now expired, there is a chance to make sure that a harmonious building is built.

LPC determination:  no action

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