Certificate of Appropriateness Testimony

[email protected] – Testimony for LPC Zoom Hearing on July 14, 2020

PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) is adjusting its processes and procedures to ensure the agency continues to provide services to the city while protecting the health of its employees and the general public. The agency is currently holding public hearings and meetings through Zoom, and live-streaming them through its YouTube channel. This enables applicants to present their projects to the Commission and the public to watch the presentations live on YouTube. Interested members of the public will also be able to provide live testimony by joining in through the Zoom app or by calling from any telephoneFor information regarding online public participation, visit the LPC’s website here.

The Historic Districts Council (HDC) reviews every public proposal affecting New York City’s landmarks and historic districts and provides testimony to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) whenever it is needed.

Please continue reading for our testimony regarding the latest items under consideration by the Commission. We invite you to visit the [email protected] blog for an archive containing all of our past testimony.

Item 3

468 West 23rd Street – Chelsea Historic District


An Italianate style rowhouse built in 1857 and later altered. Application is to install a through‐wall louver.

Architect: Osso Architecture

While unsightly and not able to be regulated by the LPC, the Historic Districts Council favors window air conditioning units over through-wall units any day. Removing a unit from a window is reversible; cutting a cavity through a brownstone façade from 1857 is not.

Item 5

595 Madison Avenue – The Fuller Building – Individual & Interior Landmark


An Art Deco style lobby interior designed by Walker and Gilette and built in 1928‐29. Application is to replace a door.

Architect: Spectorgroup

Applications for modifications to Interior Landmarks are challenging. Commissioners nor the public can retrieve an instant three-dimensional view of landmarked interior spaces. Thus, one must rely either on a memory of one of these protected spaces or, in most cases, the application materials as a visual guide. In this case, the interior documentation and rationale for a door alteration is entirely clear. We find the work exceptionally sensitive and believe it will be hardly noticeable within the landmark.

Item 6

170 Central Park West – New-York Historical Society – Individual Landmark – Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District


A Roman Eclectic style museum and library building designed by York and Sawyer and built in 1903‐1908, with wings added in 1937‐1938 by Walker and Gillette. Application is to establish a master plan governing the future installation of windows.

Architect: PBDW Architects

The existing windows are a significant feature of the façade, and the Historic Districts Council is pleased to see this important New York institution thinking long term by exploring a master plan for them. Visually and performance-wise, the long-term window solution for this plan should be thermally broken bronze windows. Aesthetically, bronze anodizing is not in any way a good substitution for solid bronze. Solid bronze weathers beautifully in our city’s environment, anodizing does not. Further, the current bronze windows have performed for over a century while the proposed aluminum windows will last one third of that lifetime. If a master plan for aluminum is approved today, in thirty years when those windows fail, aluminum can be chosen again without a conversation about utilizing bronze. This is an Individual Landmark on Central Park West designed by a prominent firm—bronze windows belong here for good.

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