Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich started assembling his $78 million trio of Upper East Side townhouses at 11-15 East 75th Street back in January of 2015, but it wasn’t until this past March that he first released his proposal to combine the townhouses into a giant mansion. The Department of Buildings rejected his initial, $6 million proposal, which called for “an 18,255-square-foot mansion with a six-foot front yard, 30-foot backyard, and pool in the cellar,” as 6sqft previously reported. But since the homes are located within the Upper East Side Historic District, it’s the Landmarks Preservation Commission who has the final say.
The LPC also rejected Abramovich‘s first proposal in April, but today they reviewed and approved a revised plan from his architect Steven Wang, along with big-name firm Herzog & de Meuron as design consultant. It calls for a modified restoration of the current facades and the removal of the rear yard building elements to be replaced with a garden and new glass facade that unites the three homes.
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Last summer, the Landmark Preservation Commission approved ODA Architecture‘s sugar crystal-inspired vision for a DUMBO commercial loft building at 10 Jay Street. Today the team went back before the LPC and received approvals to replace the building’s deteriorated east wall that has been covered in stucco since the 1970s and is in dire need of structural repair. Developer Glacier Global Partners previously fancied condos for the 19th century sugar factory building, but the robust Brooklyn office market led the developers to a change of heart, envisioning 200,000 square feet of class-A office space instead.
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Over the past couple years, preservationists have waged two big battles pertaining to the 51-year-old landmarks law. First, there was Landmarks Preservation Commission’s decision to de-calendar 95 historic sites–in other words, remove them from the “waiting list” to be considered for landmarking, leaving them in jeopardy. The LPC eventually withdrew this plan after massive public outcry, but then proposed a bill, Intro. 775, to implement timelines for reviewing possible landmarks, which was met with criticism again for a perceived catering to developers who want to demolish or alter a property. The proposal stalled, but the Council is back at it, now “proposing a half-dozen recommendations to simultaneously streamline and expand the landmarks process” that they will vote on this month, reports the Times.
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When talking townhouses, width matters. Aside from location and condition, width is usually the salient factor determining a home’s desirability and pricing. While a 20-foot wide house is the coveted standard, the adored building type comes in an assortment of sizes, ranging from this narrow 12-foot wide townhouse in Park Slope upwards to the enviable 30-foot wide homes dotting Brooklyn Heights.
On the tighter end of the spectrum, along a tree- and brownstone-lined block in the Fort Greene Historic District, R.A.Max Studio is seeking to secure the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s approval to build a 12-foot wide, environmentally-conscious, two-family house at 39 South Elliott Place. Hemmed in on a vacant lot measuring just 1,200 square feet in area, the developer, Fort Greene Properties LLC, envisions building a four-story, 3,200-square-foot structure similar in scale to a previous house that stood at the site some sixty years ago, but with a more modern exterior. But this scheme did not go over so well at today’s LPC hearing.
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The development team involved in the rehabilitation and redevelopment of the Collegiate School academic buildings adjacent to West End Collegiate Church announced yesterday that their two-building scheme has been unanimously approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Situated in the West End Collegiate Historic District on the Upper West Side, the residential development at 260 West 78th Street and 378 West End Avenue is being developed by the Collegiate Churches of New York and designed by Rick Cook of COOKFOX Architects. Funds generated by the development will be used to support the Collegiate Church’s charitable and housing programs, as well as maintain its landmarked Dutch-Flemish Renaissance Revival campus.
- After withdrawing its plan to de-calendar 95 historic sites that had been on backlog for 25 years, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has begun public hearings for these places. [WSJ]
- A new report shows that NYCHA residents see little benefit from gentrification in their neighborhoods. [NYDN]
- The 1920s Green Point Savings Bank in Prospect Heights will be demolished to make way for a 14-story tower. [DNAinfo]
- A Manhattan studio asking less than $1,000 a month does exist on West 113th Street, but you’ll get what you pay for. [Curbed]
- Jersey City’s Mayor is introducing legislation that would legalize Airbnb. [NYT]
Images: Pepsi sign, one of the sites on the LPC backlog (L); $975/month studio via Curbed
Rendering of Hidrock Realty’s proposed design for a five-story residential building next to the historic Pavilion Theater.
Hidrock Realty, developer of a five-story condo building next to the historic Pavilion Theater on Prospect Park West, was told by the Landmarks Preservation Commision to make changes to the proposed design after neighbors expressed concerns, DNAinfo reports.
Park Slope neighbors in attendance at an LPC hearing Tuesday voiced disapproval for the Morris Adjmi-designed five-story beige brick residential building, fearing that it would “open the door to out-of-character development up and down Prospect Park West.”
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Photo via Le Travelist
Aby Rosen’s plans to update the Four Seasons has been squashed by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. According to Crain’s, the only upgrade that received a nod from the commission was a request to change the carpet. Bigger renovations, like replacing a non-original fissured glass partition with planters and to replace a fixed walnut panel between the public and private dining rooms with a movable one, were all rejected. “There is no good reason why they should make these changes,” said Meenakshi Srinivasan, the commission’s chairwoman, Crain’s reports. “There’s no rationale. The space could function perfectly well without these changes, so why do it?”
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After several weeks of back and forth on whether or not the new owner of 190 Bowery, Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty, would keep its iconic graffiti, it’s now official that the historic Germania Bank Building will remain in all its tagged glory. As Yimby reports, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the proposed restoration and conversion to an office building with ground-floor retail. The plan, conceptualized by preservation architecture firm Higgins Quasebarth & Partners with the help of MdeAS Architects, “calls for restoration of metal gates, wooden doors, stained glass, and other elements, but not removing the graffiti or cleaning the façade.”
More on the approved plans here
Green-Wood Cemetery via wallyg via photopin cc
Major controversy ensued earlier this week between preservationists and city officials when the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) released a proposal to de-calendar 94 historic sites and two historic districts. The plan would have left these locations, including Long Island City’s Pepsi sign, Manhattan’s Bergdorf Goodman building, and Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, completely unprotected and ripe for alterations or even demolition. Opponents of the plan can breathe a sigh of relief, though, as the LPC has withdrawn its controversial proposal.
Many sites on the list have been there for up to 50 years, but LPC Chairwoman Meenakshi Srinivasan assured the public that they would be dealt with sooner rather than later. “We remain committed to making the Landmarks Commission more effective and responsive in its work, and clearing a backlog of items,” she said in a statement.
[Via NY Times]