LPC Approves Faux-Classical Mansion on Notorious UES Site of Blown Up Townhouse

Posted On Tue, July 12, 2016 By

Posted On Tue, July 12, 2016 By In Architecture, New Developments, Upper East Side

Ghoulish history be damned, the Woodbine Company has just received tentative design approvals from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to build a single-family, faux-classical mansion upon the parcel where Dr. Nicholas Bartha blew up his townhouse ten years ago. The now vacant 20′ x 100′ parcel once held the home of Dr. Bartha who purposely tampered with a gas line to destroy the five-floor mansion to punish his ex-wife for divorcing him and having the court rule that he had to sell the house as part of the settlement. The doctor vowed in an e-mail, “I will leave the house only if I am dead,” and on July 10, 2006, set off an explosion which shook the typically quiet Upper East Side block. Only the doctor was inside during the time of the explosion and he succumbed to his injuries five days afterwards.

34 East 62nd Older Design
Renderings of the older design

In typical New York fashion, our voracious real estate industry tasted a profit to be made. The parcel reportedly went up in value by more than $2 million once the turn-of-the-century mansion was wiped away. Only two months after the explosion, the lot was put on the market for $8.35 million dollars and pitched by Brown Harris Stevens as an “opportunity to build your dream house” on a “quiet, lovely tree-lined street.” In February 2007, The New York Times reported that Russian-born real estate developer Anna Bullock purchased the lot for $8.3 million and proposed a contemporary structure by Preston T. Phillips that would be the ultimate green townhouse. I don’t want to have any association with the tragedy — to me it is an empty lot,” she told the Times. The project stalled during the downturn and Bullock put the lot and its build-out on the market for $40 million. It was sold to the Woodbine Company (under WB34E62, LLC) for $11.2 million in 2015, according to city records.

Upper East Side townhouses, LPC, Landmarks Preservation, NYC townhouses
Current view of the vacant site

Upper East Side townhouses, LPC, Landmarks Preservation, NYC townhouses

Now the Woodbine Company, with the conservative design firm of HS Jessup Architecture at the helm (the same architects for the $45 million mega-mansion conversion once home to the New York Foundling), has asked Landmarks to grant approval for their five-story, five-bedroom, 7,800-square-foot home that mimics the classical mansions alongside it. The street-facing exterior would be clad in limestone with red brick along the lot-line and rear facades. The front would feature a simple entryway and black metal railings. The upper story sets back into a mansard roof where two copper-clad dormers with arched windows project from a black slate roof. According to the team, the goal was for the new building to harmonize with the other townhouses in the area, but to also be of its time. Wanting to maintain the Gilded Age coherence of the block, precedents included the neighboring Links Club at 36 East 62nd Street.

Upper East Side townhouses, Landmarks Preservation Commission, 34 East 62nd Street, HS Jessup Architecture

The Historic Districts Council spoke out against the design, saying the house may look historic, but it isn’t, and therefore is not appropriate for the neighborhood. Friends of the Upper East Side said the project may be a missed opportunity for a more creative design. The Commission was not completely onboard with the faux-historic stylings and thought a more modern design would be appropriate. Nevertheless, the application was approved with some suggestions of modifications to make the design better detailed and more refined.

See the full presentation here >>

RELATED:

Tags : , , , ,

Neighborhoods : Upper East Side

MOST RECENT ARTICLES

  • Driving Barron Trump to school won’t leave NYC in total traffic chaos

    Driving Barron Trump to school won’t leave NYC in total traffic chaos

    It appears the Secret Service and NYPD are indeed taking measures to minimize the disruption caused by Melania and Barron staying ...
  • Map: Here’s where you can afford to live in NYC in 2018

    Map: Here’s where you can afford to live in NYC in 2018

    For New York home buyers, a lot can change in a year. A neighborhood that was considered affordable can all ...
  • A photographer’s classic Soho loft complete with furniture and art asks $10K/month

    A photographer’s classic Soho loft complete with furniture and art asks $10K/month

    The most interesting thing about Soho lofts is often the people who inhabit them; all begin as hangar-sized white spaces with ...
  • Get a free Shake Shack burger via their new app

    Get a free Shake Shack burger via their new app

    Even when all hope seems lost—there’s nothing like a free cheeseburger to raise morale. Shake Shack is celebrating the launch ...
  • Amtrak tearing down Penn Station departure board; Billy Bush lost $1.4M on his Chelsea house

    Amtrak tearing down Penn Station departure board; Billy Bush lost $1.4M on his Chelsea house

    Penn Station’s archaic-yet-iconic Amtrak departure board is officially coming down today to make way for a series of updated, smaller ...
  • De Blasio to allocate $300 million and accelerate construction of third NYC water tunnel

    De Blasio to allocate $300 million and accelerate construction of third NYC water tunnel

    City Water Tunnel No. 3, one of the largest capital projects in the city’s history; Images: NYC DEP Mayor Bill ...
  • Central Park South co-op of the late Doris Roberts lists for $3.3M

    Central Park South co-op of the late Doris Roberts lists for $3.3M

    Emmy-winning actress and animal-rights activist Doris Roberts (you probably know her best as Marie Barone from “Everybody Loves Raymond”) passed away ...
  • The Horse Plague of 1872 brought New York City to a screeching halt

    The Horse Plague of 1872 brought New York City to a screeching halt

    In the fall of 1872, an unfortunate horse plague swept across New York City after making its way through Toronto, ...
  • There are more skyscrapers in NYC than in the next 10 cities combined

    There are more skyscrapers in NYC than in the next 10 cities combined

    Given our growing obsession with skyscrapers–and our growing collection of them–we’re pleased to find that New York City has more skyscrapers than ...
  • Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh sells stylish Chelsea pad for $4.8M

    Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh sells stylish Chelsea pad for $4.8M

    All the way back in August 2014, 6sqft featured the $5 million listing for this stylish co-op at 147 West 22nd ...
  • Socialite Georgette Mosbacher lists luxurious full-floor, Fifth Avenue co-op for $29.5M

    Socialite Georgette Mosbacher lists luxurious full-floor, Fifth Avenue co-op for $29.5M

    This grand Fifth Avenue co-op belongs to the socialite and political fundraiser Georgette Mosbacher, who has hosted everyone from King ...
  • SPACE T2: A 1959 hunting shack transformed into an off-grid studio by Stephen Holl

    SPACE T2: A 1959 hunting shack transformed into an off-grid studio by Stephen Holl

    Space T2 is a minimal artist studio located in Rhinebeck, NY. Stephen Holl Architects built the off-grid cabin using what remained of ...

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful!
This email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.