Certificate of Appropriateness Testimony

HDC@LPC – Testimony for Hearing on November 21, 2017

Item 2

132 Calyer Street – Greenpoint Historic District


A frame house built c. 1868-69. Application is to install siding, recreate decorative features, and replace windows at the front façade.

This house is proof that with sensitive stewardship, even the most altered historic fabric can be reconfigured into a work of art. HDC would like to commend this applicant for conducting a probe and recreating original details like window lintels and a cornice, as opposed to using this building’s alterations as justification for a non-sympathetic intervention or even demolition. Landmark designation in this district will ensure that over time, one by one, these less fortunate wooden houses will be restored. This property is one of several altered wooden houses in the Greenpoint historic district which are undergoing restoration with the Commission’s approval. These successful examples should be the standard of comparison for projects in Greenpoint, unlike 111 Noble Street which the applicant has proposed to demolish and whose public meeting is imminent.

LPC determination: Approved

Item 4

58 Bank Street – Greenwich Village Historic District


A Greek Revival style house built in the mid 1840s and later altered with a fourth floor and an Italianate cornice. Application is to construct rooftop and rear yard additions, and excavate the rear yard.

While our committee finds the proposed rooftop addition to be set back a reasonable distance from the street, the elevator bulkhead is too visible. We suggest the applicant work with staff on alternative designs that don’t have such a significant elevator override.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications

Item 5

170 Bleecker Street – South Village Historic District


A Greek Revival style rowhouse built c. 1835 and later altered by Francis Y. Joannes and Maxwell Hyde in 1921. Application is to replace and modify storefront infill and install signage and light fixtures.

HDC is pleased that a wooden storefront is being proposed, however, the design seems like a missed opportunity. Working in a medium like wood allows for fine detail and profiles, and this proposal essentially proposes to create a wooden storefront that appears to look like aluminum. We hope that staff can work with the applicant to extend the craftsmanship a bit farther to create an attractive frontage, and reevaluate the color scheme which appears quite stark compared to the upper floors.

LPC determination: Approved

Item 6

269 West 11th Street – Greenwich Village Historic District


A Greek Revival style rowhouse built in 1836 and altered prior to 1940. Application is to excavate the rear yard.

Our committee asks that the applicant undertakes any excavation work with extreme caution so as not to disturb the adjacent backhouse. These structures, built in the 1830s, are extremely fragile and should not be disturbed.

LPC determination: Approved

Item 7

307-317 East 44th Street – Individual Landmark


A pair of International Style apartment buildings designed by Raymond Hood, Godley & Fouilhoux and built in 1929-30. Application is to establish a Master Plan governing the future installation of windows.

HDC is concerned with what appears to be an inconsistent window scheme for a window master plan, something that will guide all future window installations on this large complex. In some cases, the windows closely match what currently exists on the buildings. In other cases, larger, thicker profiles have been presented. The wider verticals that appear only on certain windows are problematic, as fenestration is a fundamental design element to International Style buildings. Windows that don’t match will be readily apparently and detract from this individual landmark. The designation report for this individual landmark notes that at the time of designation all of the steel window frames were intact. We ask, then, that the applicant use steel windows, which are readily available, in future installations.

LPC determination: Approved with modifications

Item 10

3560 Broadway – Individual Landmark – (Former) Hamilton Theater


A neo-Renaissance style theater designed by Thomas W. Lamb and built in 1912-13. Application is to construct additions, alter the façade, and install new window openings and entrance infill.

There is a great opportunity here to restore historic elements of this beautiful Thomas Lamb theater and HDC hopes the applicant will take advantage of this. For the cost of the new flooring construction being undertaken here, the cost of bringing back a sheet metal cornice is minimal in comparison and would give something back to the neighborhood. We would also like to see the arched openings on the street side restored and there is ample documentation to guide the owners through this process. We hope that as a show of consideration to this neighborhood the owners will work with staff to return these historic features to this grand public building.

LPC determination: NO ACTION

Item 11

290 West 246th Street – Fieldston Historic District


A house designed by BKSK Architects and built in 2004. Application is to legalize alterations to porches and pathways without Landmarks Preservation Commission permit(s).

This application was incomplete and unclear for our committee to evaluate its appropriateness. We ask that a sufficient presentation be provided in order for the public to understand what work is being proposed.

LPC determination: Approved

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