Certificate of Appropriateness Testimony

HDC@LPC Testimony for November 15, 2022

Certificate of Appropriateness Testimony

565 Broadway – SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District
An Italianate style store and loft building designed by John Kellum and built in 1859-60. Application is to replace marble units with a substitute material.
Architect: Sullivan Engineering
This proposal suggests a mixture of marble replacement and GFRC. HDC finds the proposed use of GFRC to be inappropriate, and believes that all of the replacement work should be done in marble. We understand that the applicant will need to work carefully to match the existing marble, but believe that this building, and its prominent corner position adjacent to the Little Singer Building, demands the use of high-quality, historic materials.
Determination: Unanimously approved

144 Greenpoint Avenue – Greenpoint Historic District
An altered commercial building originally designed by Wilson & Dasau and built in 1898. Application is to demolish the building and construct a new building.
Architect: PBDW Architects
HDC agrees with Brooklyn Community Board 1 that this proposal is inappropriately generic in relation to the visual interest of the existing building, and to other purpose-built commercial structures in the Greenpoint Historic District. The Polonaise is an unofficial landmark in Greenpoint and a visual anchor of the neighborhood. It would do damage to the neighborhood, the streetscape, and the historic district to replace it with a design that lacks a similar level of architectural interest.
Determination: No Action

158 Bergen Street – Boerum Hill Historic District
An Italianate style rowhouse built in 1856-1861. Application is to construct a rear yard addition.
Architect: Andrew Fredman
HDC finds this proposal to be inappropriate. In particular, the proposed third-floor bulk is completely out of scale with the surrounding buildings and will overwhelm them in a way that cannot be reversed. It has become generally accepted practice to limit the size of rear yard additions to two stories. This approach allows for the house to accommodate the daily functions of the modern family while maintaining the building’s predominant massing. Additionally the proposed use of buff brick for the sidewalls is inconsistent with the surrounding fabric which is entirely red brick – stucco and painted brick. It is safe to assume that as more of this building’s neighbors are renovated it is likely that they will have their red brick facades cleaned, repaired and restored. The proposed pattern of rear-facade fenestration, and the proposed windows, are out of character with the type and are not being executed in any compositionally innovative way that might allow for a more artistic latitude. To be blunt this proposal is at best awkward, and as designed will permanently disfigure this particular donut. Finally, a renovation of this scale and value should include the restoration of the building’s front cornice, which in addition to contributing to the visual repair of this block’s street wall, will also protect the front facade from rain.
Determination: Unanimously approved with modifications to reduce rear-yard addition to two stories.

593A Vanderbilt Avenue – Prospect Heights Historic District
An Italianate style store and flats building built in c. 1879. Application is to construct a freestanding pavilion in the rear yard.
Architect: ISHAC Design Architects, PC
HDC largely supports this proposal and finds it appropriate, except for a modest objection to the roof color, which we believe should be more muted, in deference to the other residents of the donut. We would like to see it painted black instead of green.
Determination: Unanimously approved with condition that applicants work with staff on the color, and that the lot line windows be eliminated.

112-03 178th Street – Addisleigh Park Historic District
A vacant lot. Application is to construct a freestanding house.
Architect: Gerald J. Caliendo
HDC feels that this proposed new construction can be appropriate for this historic neighborhood, but we believe that a number of details need to be refined in order for the building to better fit in. The proposed windows should be true divided lights, not grill-divided lights, and a 6-over-1 configuration may be appropriate. Above, the roof should be of slate with copper flashings, or possibly a synthetic slate product with copper flashings. Finally, we believe the technical execution of the exposed timber requires further study, and we question whether pressure-treated lumber is an appropriate or even feasible product for this application.
Determination: No Action

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