Certificate of Appropriateness Testimony

[email protected] – Testimony for LPC Zoom Hearing on June 22 , 2021

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.

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.

Certificate of Appropriateness Testimony

Item 1


109 State Street – Brooklyn Heights Historic District

Brooklyn – Block 267 – Lot 7  Zoning:R6   CD: 2


A Greek Revival style rowhouse built in 1839. Application is to alter front and side areaways, modify and install new window openings, add an oriel window, alter the rear extension, and construct rooftop additions.

Architect: CWB Architects

For full disclosure, Brendan Coburn is one of the principals of the architectural firm of record for this project and serves on HDC’s Board, acting as the co-chair of our Public Review Committee. Mr. Coburn recused himself from the committee’s review of this project. HDC supports this proposal, finding the proposed alterations to be appropriate and sympathetic to the original designs. The alterations in the front and side areaways, as well as the modification and installation of new window openings are consistent with the architecture of the building and the neighborhood. Well done.


LPC determination: approved

Item 2


89 Remsen Street – Brooklyn Heights Historic District
Brooklyn – Block 248 –  Lot 3    Zoning:R6     CD: 2


A Greek Revival style house built in 1840. Application is to replace the sidewalk.

HDC strongly opposes this proposal, as we believe that, whenever possible, historic paving material, the bluestone, should be maintained. Although the applicant makes the point that on Remsen Street,  there are houses with concrete sidewalks, there are also houses with bluestone sidewalks. We understand the seeming difficulties of dealing with historic paving and sympathize with the owner. HDC has long felt that New York City should offer more robust aid to retain and repair this incredibly visible historic resource. We are encouraged by discussions at recent public hearings about various city agencies such as DDC taking pains to retain and replace historic street and sidewalk paving in Vinegar Hill. It would be greatly further the preservation of the historic streetscape if similar efforts could be attempted citywide. We realize this would be a large undertaking, but this is a perennial issue with historic sidewalk materials in our city’s historic districts, and has been for decades. Historic paving is one of the most visible ingredients of a neighborhood’s distinct sense of place. It definitely is the historic fabric which the public has the most direct experience with. We should do all we can to keep the resources which still exist, and encourage their restoration and replacement, instead of their removal.



LPC determination: approved with modifications


Item 3
48 Clifton Place – Clinton Hill Historic District
Brooklyn – Block 1951 – Lot 29 Zoning:R6B CD: 2

An Italianate style residence. Application is to modify window openings and construct a deck at the rear façade.

Architect: Andrew Fredman

HDC finds the proposed window openings acceptable. However, we feel there is a lack of relationship between the deck and the rear façade. As a great deal of work is being done to this façade, the deck could become better integrated into this design. At the very least, the deck should be narrowed and with the aligned with the width of the extension wall, rather than overshooting it as it now appears to do. 

LPC determination: approved with modifications

Item 4
1790 Broadway – United States Rubber Company Building – Individual Landmark
Manhattan – Block 1029 – Lot 53 Zoning:C5-1 CD: 5
A Beaux-Arts style office building designed by Carrere & Hastings and built in 1911-12, and altered in 1959. Application is to establish a master plan governing the future installation of banner signage.
1780 Broadway – B.F. Goodrich Company Building – Individual Landmark
Manhattan – Block 1029 – Lot 14 Zoning:C5-1 CD: 5
An office building with Elizabethan, Jacobean and Viennese Secessionist influences, designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw in association with Ward & Willauer, and built in 1909. Application is to install flagpoles.
HDC opposes the proposal to place a banner on 1790 Broadway. The outsized sign proposed here hides a facade whose design is meant to be seen. The corner of this building is intended to be appreciated by the public and it is an important component of the entire facade. This corner is the prow of the building and the banner seems like a bumper sticker affixed to it. HDC believes that there should not be a sign there, or if there is, it should be independent from the facade.

LPC determination: approved

Item 5
346 Convent Avenue – Hamilton Heights Historic District
Manhattan – Block 2059 – Lot 47 Zoning:R6A CD: 9
A neo-French Renaissance style townhouse built in 1886-90. Application is to replace windows and install an enclosure.
Although unclear from the photos, it appears in the drawings provided that there are existing windows with a historic configuration on the top floor of this building. HDC asks that the original configuration of those windows be retained. This would complement the proposed installation of more appropriate windows on the lower floors. 
LPC determination: approved

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