Certificate of Appropriateness Testimony

HDC@LPC Testimony for December 19, 2023


212 Columbia Heights- Brooklyn Heights Historic District


An Italianate style rowhouse built in 1860. Application is to construct a roof deck and install a door.

Architect: BAXT INGUI

HDC supports the door as proposed, but we feel the proposed roof deck inappropriately overhangs the rear cornice line, and should be pushed back.

Action: Approved with the modification that the applicant work with staff to push back and/or lower the roofdeck.

302 Lafayette Avenue – Clinton Hill Historic District


An Italianate style rowhouse designed by John S. King & William Vanse and built c. 1873. Application is to legalize repaving the areaway and installing an areaway wall without permit(s), and to install a new railing.

HDC supports this legalization, but we find the proposed pipe rail too simple in design, and feel that a more decorative metal rail would be more appropriate.

Action: Unanimously approved with modification that the applicant works with staff on the fence.

LPC-24-04321 and LPC-24-04320
160 and 162 Fifth Avenue – Ladies’ Mile Historic District

A neo-Renaissance style office, store, and loft building designed by Robert Henderson Robertson and built in 1891-92, and a Beaux-Arts style store and loft building designed by Buchman & Fox and built in 1903.  Application is to construct a rooftop addition, alter the façade, and install a skybridge and related light fixtures.

Architect: TPG Architecture

At HDC, we love skybridges. There are only a handful of historic skybridges left in New York City, and we fear in particular for the loss of the Gimbels Skybridge, which the Commission has refused to designate.

We believe the applicant could look to these historic precedents, many of which are included in their application, to inform the design of their proposed skybridge. Historic skybridges offered ornamentation and visual interest to the streetscape while also being stylistically related to the buildings they connected. We believe the design of the proposed skybridge should relate visually to the existing buildings. 

Finally, we find the skybrige’s proposed placement inappropriate, because it cuts through the cornice of 160 5th Avenue. Skybridges are normally anchored below the cornice so as not to disturb that crowning visual element. 

In fact, one side of this skybridge is anchored appropriately: the bridge enters 162 5th Avenue below the cornice, as it should. We’d like to see the same thing repeated across the street.

Action: Approved 7-3

1030 Amsterdam Avenue (aka 500-502 West 111th Street; 1028-1034 Amsterdam
Avenue) – Morningside Heights Historic District

A Renaissance Revival style apartment building designed by Neville & Bagge and built in 1908-09. Application is to replace storefronts, install artwork, security gates and light fixtures, and reinstall awnings.

Architect: Diamantopoulou Kolb Architecture

HDC is pleased to support this application. We are happy to see this applicant support public art at this site, and we look forward to its installation.

Action: Unanimously approved

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