Landmarks Preservation Commision

History, Landmarks Preservation Commission, New Developments, Tribeca

Images of the 108 Leonard’s newly restored facade courtesy of Hundred Stories PR

Update 4/1/19: The New York State Court of Appeals on Thursday ruled against a group of preservationists who sued to stop developers from turning a historic clock tower into a penthouse. According to the judge, the LPC does not have the authority to give access to the building and the agency’s plan to make the 19th-century clock run electronically is reasonable.

Developers had big plans for the luxury condominiums they were creating at the block-long former site of the New York Life Insurance Company at 346 Broadway (also known as 108 Leonard Street) since purchasing it from the city in 2014. The new residential project would hold 140 units starting at $1.5 million, capped by a stunning penthouse that would be priced at over $20 million. The one snag in this golden opportunity: The building’s iconic Clock Tower–sometimes called New York’s ‘Big Ben,’ which sits atop the building and was designated an interior landmark in 1987. The clock must be wound by hand, a process which requires access through, as the New York Times reports, the future penthouse. A case against the developers’ plan and a subsequent appeal were both won by the opponents, saying the LPC couldn’t unwind the clock’s landmark status–but an appeal in the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, is still pending.

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Architecture, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Midtown, Starchitecture

550 Madison Avenue, AT&T BUILDING, LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISION, OLAYAN, PHILLIP JOHNSON, SNØHETTA, LPC

In December, 6sqft reported that architecture firm Snøhetta had unveiled a preservationist-friendly revision to a controversial design for an updated AT&T building at 550 Madison Avenue; last month brought more details from the firm’s proposal that was submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). The most recent design is one of several revisions, each followed by controversy over being seen by preservationists as diverting too much from the building’s original design by Philip Johnson and John Burgee. Yesterday LPC approved the new preservation-friendly designs–with some modifications. The office tower is now on track to reopen in 2020.

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Architecture, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Midtown, Starchitecture

550 Madison Avenue, AT&T BUILDING, LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISION, OLAYAN, PHILLIP JOHNSON, SNØHETTA, LPC

In December, 6sqft reported that architecture firm Snøhetta had unveiled a preservationist-friendly revision to a controversial design for an updated AT&T building at 550 Madison Avenue. Now you can get a look at the full details of the Certificate of Appropriateness proposal that will be presented to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) tomorrow. The latest design is one of several revisions, each followed by controversy over being seen by preservationists as diverting too much from the building’s original design by Philip Johnson and John Burgee. In addition to comparisons to the original, new designs must consider the subsequent revamp that made it the Sony building in 1994, which replaced the building’s open Madison Avenue arcade with “Sony Experience” storefronts and covered a rear public arcade with a glass roof.

Compare the new with the old

Architecture, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Midtown, Starchitecture

550 Madison, snohetta, olayan group, Philip johnson

Architecture firm Snøhetta unveiled this week a preservationist-friendly revision to a controversial design for an updated AT&T building at 550 Madison Avenue. The latest design is one of several revisions, each followed by controversy over being seen by preservationists as diverting too much from the building’s original design by Philip Johnson and John Burgee. In addition to comparisons to the original, new designs have had to consider the subsequent revamp that made it the Sony building in 1994, which replaced the building’s open Madison Avenue arcade with “Sony Experience” storefronts and covered a rear public arcade with a glass roof.

‘Hands off my Johnson’

Coney Island, Landmarks Preservation Commission

Coney Island boardwalk likely to be landmarked

By Michelle Cohen, Fri, March 16, 2018

coney island, boardwalk

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

History, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Midtown

Rose Main Reading room via NYPL

State Senators Brad Hoylman and Liz Krueger have asked the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate the Rose Main Reading Room at the New York Public Library’s main branch and the Bill Blass Public Catalog Room at the 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue branch as interior landmarks, according to DNAInfo. The library’s main branch, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, was given landmark designation in 1967 and Astor Hall and the grand staircases within the building were designated as interior landmarks in 1974. Interior landmark designation would give the two reading rooms–favorites of literary greats including Norman Mailer, E.L. Doctorow and Elizabeth Bishop–the same protection moving forward.

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Architecture, History, Midtown East

citicorp building 601 Lexington Ave

Images: Lemessurier and 6sqft

The Midtown building formerly known as Citicorp Center has just been designated a city landmark. The building, now known simply as 601 Lexington Avenue, is one of 12 buildings in Midtown East to be given landmark status by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. This newest batch of landmarks brings the number of official historic buildings in the area to 50, Curbed reports. The 59-story office and retail tower, designed by Hugh A. Stubbins & Associates, was completed in 1978. It was considered quite innovative for its time, with distinctive features that included a 45-degree angular roof and a base of four stilt-like columns. The latter allowed it to cantilever over Saint Peter’s Church, also on the site. There is also a privately owned public space that connects the buildings to the Lexington Avenue-53rd Street subway station.

The distinctive tower will be dwarfed, but preserved

Architecture, Landmarks Preservation Commission, New Developments, Tribeca

While better known for its manufacturing buildings converted to retreats of discreet loft living, Tribeca is ushering in a mini-Gilded Age of mega-modern townhouses that are rising from the neighborhood’s modicum of narrow lots. Yesterday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved Maya Lin Studio‘s design of a five-story, 20,000-square-foot single-family mansion at 11 Hubert Street that will use the structural bones of an existing three-floor commercial building and add more than 6,000 square feet of floor area throughout. The nondescript commercial structure is a vestige of a never-finished 1980’s residential project that Lin, in collaboration with architects Bialosky + Partners, hope to rectify.

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