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168 Fifth Avenue, application for storefront

WHEREAS, The building at l68 Fifth Avenue, the Gertner Building, was built in 1851 (original architect unknown) as two buildings and converted to one building when redesigned  as an early 20th century commercial-style loft building in 1921 by architect Rudolph C.B. Boehler; and

WHEREAS, Only one half of the lower two floors of the five-story building is being renovated for a women’s clothing store, leaving the other half untouched, with both in very bad condition; and

WHEREAS, The applicant intends to restore and use the double-height, limestone pilasters and will remove the 1921 red-colored granite that is currently on the storefront, replacing it with limestone; and

WHEREAS, The original building entrance included a decorative arch which the applicant does not plan to recreate, and their design for the building entrance, the store window as well as the store entrance is glass and aluminum; and

WHEREAS, The applicant had no 1940 tax photo which would indicate what the 1921 storefront looked like, and how it should be recreated, and the applicant was unsure as to whether or not they would increase the height of the storefront; and

WHEREAS, The plans were not complete and little effort was made to restore or recreate the historic storefront; and

WHEREAS, The Board hopes that the adjacent left half of the ground floor not being restored at this time, be included in a master plan, so that when it is restored, it would be similar to the proposed storefront; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends denial of the application and that the applicant come back to the Board after completing the plans, making an effort to restore or at least recreate the original storefront façade from the tax photo.

The above resolution passed with a vote of  26 in favor, 0 opposed, 2 abstentions.

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