Certificate of Appropriateness Testimony

[email protected] Testimony for February 14th, 2023

Certificate of Appropriateness Testimony

238 West 11th Street – Greenwich Village Historic District
An Italianate style rowhouse built in 1852-53. Application is to replace a door, construct rooftop and rear yard additions, and excavate the rear yard.
Architect: Joseph Vance Architects
HDC finds this application generally appropriate but feels that the new rear facade is somewhat disjointed. The scheme would benefit from further refinement and a lower ratio of glass to masonry.
Action: Unanimously approved

330 West 42nd Street – McGraw-Hill Building – Individual Landmark
A Moderne/International Style office building designed by Raymond Hood, and Godley & Fouilhoux and built in 1931. Application is to amend Certificate of Appropriateness 22- 04937 to modify entrance infill and install signage and marquees.
Architect: SLCE Architects
HDC is pleased that this updated proposal includes the restoration of the McGraw Hill signage on the building’s facade, but we find the addition of a canopy over the historic entrance to be completely inappropriate. 

We agree with our colleagues at Save Chelsea and The Alliance to Save the McGraw Hill Lobby that the proposed canopy violates Raymond Hood’s design intent by disrupting the speedlines and sense of inward flow that makes this entrance so dynamic. We would also note that Hood’s deeply recessed entrance design makes the addition of a canopy totally unnecessary and that a canopy would obscure the McGraw Hill signage that the applicants are taking the time and effort to restore. 

We hope that the applicant will continue that effort inside the building by also restoring the building’s glorious lobby to its original Art Deco splendor.

Action: Unanimously approved in part with modifications. No marquee

45 West 81st Street (aka 41-49 West 81st Street) – Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District
A neo-Moorish style apartment hotel building with Spanish Renaissance style elements designed by Sugarman & Hess and bult in 1922. Application is to construct a rooftop addition.
Architect: Matt Markowitz
HDC is concerned about the visibility and bulk of this proposed rooftop addition. Not only is the addition visible from a considerable distance, but also it inappropriately fills the gap between the neo-Moorish arches at the building’s cornice and diminishes their reading as independent features against the sky. 

In order to reduce visibility and defer to the existing neo-Moorish arches, the addition needs to be set back further and reduced in height by at least a foot.

Action: Approved with modifications. Lower by a foot and change material to stucco

34 Ericsson Place – Tribeca West Historic District
A neo-Renaissance style store and loft building designed by William Emerson and built in 1908. Application is to install storefront infill and replace the loading platform.
Architect: McDonald Architecture Studio
HDC applauds this application for its attention to research and detail. We appreciate this very appropriate restoration and find it quite refreshing to see such careful reconstruction of vault lights. 
Held Over

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