Certificate of Appropriateness Testimony

HDC@LPC – October 9, 2012

Item 6
136343- Block 532, lot 4-
688 Broadway – NoHo Historic District
A parking lot. Application is to construct a new building.

HDC would like to compliment the applicant on a new building that nicely fits into the context of the NoHo Historic District in a contemporary manner.  In its height and massing, the building respects its neighbors, and we find the materials, depth, details and balance of the design all to be up to the high standard of this lively district.  It is particularly nice to see a cornice of significant projection on a new building.  Our only suggestion would be to create a bulkhead on the storefronts to give the building a stronger base and to create a more of a tie with other neighborhood storefronts.

LPC determination:  approved with modifications


Item 8
135098- Block 825, lot 20,60-
22-24 West 24th Street – Ladies’ Mile Historic District
A vacant lot. Application is to construct a new building.

The loss of 22 West 24th Street was a sad one in terms of both the architecture and the cultural history of the Ladies Mile Historic District.  While attempting to recreate the 19th century residence is neither necessary nor particularly desirable, a building that acknowledges that it is part of this district is.  The presentation shows the work that has gone into studying the horizontals and verticals of the adjacent buildings, but further study is also needed  beyond these most basic features that make up just about any building.  If the proposed is looking to be a stark contrast rather than be contextual, it has succeeded.  Ladies’ Mile buildings have depth, articulation, balance, and rhythm.  They have life, and that is unfortunately missing from this new building.

LPC determination:  no action


Item 9
130137- Block 825, lot 24-
8-12 West 24th Street aka 27-33 West 23rd St. – Ladies’ Mile Historic District
A neo-Grec style store building designed by William Schickel and built in 1880-81. Application is to replace windows.

HDC approves of the change in windows on side walls, but we feel that the main façade should be held to a higher standard.  The designation report describes these wood windows as original to the building, and it would be a shame to lose them.  If they cannot be restored we ask that a better profile match be found.

LPC determination:  no action


Item 13
133206- Block 1383, lot 59-
18 East 69th Street – Upper East Side Historic District
A neo-Grec style rowhouse designed by Charles Buek & Co., and built in 1881-82. Application is to create window openings, raise a parapet wall, install railings and a bulkhead.

While we find the rest of the project approvable, HDC objects to the addition of windows to the front façade.  The addition of windows as proposed would interrupt the band courses, the primary detail in this space.  Windows in this bay would certainly be the more traditional approach, but it was not one the developer/architect Charles Buek chose to take in 1881.  HDC asks that the original design be retained.

LPC determination:  approved


Item 10
135634- Block 1315, lot 24-
220 East 42nd Street – Daily News Building, Individual Landmark
An Art Deco style office building designed by Raymond M. Hood and built in 1929-30. Application is to alter the 41st Street façade and install a canopy and lighting.

While not the primary façade, the 41st Street façade is still an important piece of a truly wonderful individual landmark.  HDC has two comments that we hope can help make this proposal a little more appropriate.  Although we do not typically look for it in other applications, a sense of flatness is a key feature here.  If the doors must be inset to meet code, that, of course, is fine, but we want to make sure that the transom above is flush with everything else.  We also find the canopy to be too thick and solid and ask that it be lightened up some.

LPC determination:  no action

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