Photo via CityRealty
Earlier this year, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) unveiled a series of new proposed rules, which the group says will streamline the application process and improve transparency. One of the proposed changes, which calls for more oversight by LPC staff but less time for public review, has some preservation groups criticizing the commission. Preservationists worry this new rule change would not take into account public opinion, as it limits the opportunity for testimony and comment on the application.
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Image: Shinya Suzuki via Flickr
After repeatedly declining to protect the celebrated walkway–even as its wooden planks become increasingly replaced with concrete and plastic as a result of Superstorm Sandy repairs–the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has agreed to add the historic Coney Island Boardwalk to the agency’s list of properties to consider for protected status, according to remarks made at a LPC hearing Thursday, Crain’s reports. LPC chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said the boardwalk–its official name is the Riegelmann Boardwalk–could be protected as early as this spring or summer.
It could happen in time for summer
This January, the Landmarks Preservation Commission released a series of amendments that would overhaul how the commission reviews certain applications–with the idea to cut down the time it takes to approve routine applications. And later this month, on Tuesday, March 27th, the Commission will hold a public hearing on how these changes would affect the city’s landmark process. In advance of the meeting, the Municipal Art Society of New York created a pair of interactive maps to better inform New Yorkers on the LPC’s process. One map, the Commission Review Map, shows what type of alterations have been permitted or denied by the full LPC commission. The other, the Staff Review Map, shows what type of alterations have been permitted by the LPC staff or withdrawn by the applicant. As MAS puts it, “We hope these maps help bring to light how the LPC fulfills its ‘purpose of safeguarding the buildings and places that represent New York City’s cultural, social, economic, political, and architectural history’ through regulation.”
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Revised Design for 312-322 Canal Street courtesy of Paul A. Castrucci Architects
For Trans World Equities and Paul A. Castrucci Architects, the third time is truly the charm. Nearly seven years after they first proposed a plan to replace a row of five buildings at 312-322 Canal Street with a residential building, the Landmarks Preservation Commission officially approved on Tuesday the duo’s revised design. The updated plan reduces the height of the building from nine to seven stories and mutes the color of the facade from a bright-red brick to terracotta. During the developer’s third presentation for LPC, the commissioners said the building’s rhythm and height will now fit better with the district, according to CityRealty.
See the approved replacement
Back in November, the developer/owner of a pair of newly-landmarked buildings at 827-831 Broadway–noted for their cast-iron architecture and a rich cultural history that includes serving as home to artist Willem de Kooning—submitted a proposal for a four-story prismatic glass addition and landscaped roof terrace that architects DXA Studio say was influenced by de Kooning’s work. Yesterday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission received the proposal with mixed reviews, feeling skeptical about whether or not cultural events should influence a building’s architecture. After hearing testimony from a slew of local residents and preservationists who feel the glass topper is too large, the LPC decided to take no action on the plan, instead sending the team back to the drawing board to better detail the restoration aspects and reconsider the addition as perhaps shorter and further setback.
More details and renderings ahead
New York City is home to over 36,000 architecturally, historically and culturally significant buildings and sites, as designated by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. To make information about the thousands of landmarks in the city more accessible, the LPC launched on Monday an enhanced interactive map that allows users to search and filter building data by architectural style, architect, building type and era. The nearly 34,000 sites on the map build upon the existing 1,400 individual landmarks and 141 historic districts the commission had mapped last year.
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Between the controversial–and eventually nixed–condo tower and the news of ESPN’s new studio plans, it’s hard to keep up with what’s taking shape at Pier 17 in the Seaport district. The latest arrival comes from above: Developers Howard Hughes Corporation announced plans earlier this year for a “crown jewel” for the new pier, a rooftop stage and installation with a see-through canopy that will maintain sightlines of Lower Manhattan. The high-tech topper was designed by German architect Achim Menges, known for ethereal, high-concept structures made with 3-D printers or woven from carbon fibers. Set for a summer 2018 opening, the new performance space will occupy 60,000 square feet according to Downtown Express. The project on Tuesday was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, who said it will “set a standard for all future temporary seasonal structures.”
Renderings of the high-tech sky canopy this way
The building in 1905, via MCNY
This morning, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) designated the former IRT Powerhouse (now the Con Ed Powerhouse) at 12th Avenue and 59th Street an official New York City landmark. The Beaux-Arts style building, designed in 1904 by McKim, Mead & White, is considered a remarkable example of the style applied to a utilitarian building. It was bestowed with such grandeur to convince the public to embrace the subway, a newly-created transportation option at the time. The monumental building not only powered the city’s the first subway line but upon completion 111 years ago it was the largest powerhouse in the world.
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Domino Sugar Refinery rendering via Practice of Architectural Urbanism
The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission approved on Tuesday a project to redesign the iconic 19th century Domino Sugar Factory building in Williamsburg into a modern office space. While the proposal from Vishaan Chakrabarti’s Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) was first rejected by the commission in October, during the hearing Tuesday, LPC said the revised design “sets the landmark free.” Overall, the commissioners were enthusiastic about the retention of part of the original building, giving credit to PAU’s “novel and creative approach.”
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This morning the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to calendar the postmodern skyscraper at 550 Madison Avenue, designed by Philip Johnson and completed in 1984. The world’s first skyscraper built in a postmodern style was originally known as the AT&T Building, as the tower served as the company headquarters. Sony moved in in the 1990s, giving it the nickname of the Sony Tower.
Last year, the building sold to the Olayan Group and Chelsfield for a whopping $1.4 billion. Their resulting renovation plan, led by Snøhetta, has elicited protest from preservationists who do not want to see changes to the building’s impressive arched entryway. Now that the tower’s calendared, the developers’ $300 million renovation will eventually come up for a landmarks vote by the LPC.
See renderings of Snøhetta’s proposal