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476 Fifth Avenue, New York Public Library, Main Branch, application for a penthouse addition for HVAC addition on the north side of the rooftop

WHEREAS, New York Public Library, Main Branch, 476 Fifth Avenue, between West 40th and West 42nd Streets, is a celebrated individual New York City Landmark famous throughout the world, designed in 1897 in a competition won by the architectural firm, Carrere & Hastings; and

WHEREAS, The Library is applying for approval of the construction of a penthouse addition on the northerly side of the rooftop to house new heating and cooling mechanical equipment; and

WHEREAS, This approval is required to replace the malfunctioning HVAC equipment at the top of the building, which is leaking to the rooms directly below; and

WHEREAS, These rooms contain rare documents and book archives that are endangered by the existing conditions; and

WHEREAS, At the request of the Landmarks Commission a mockup of the proposed penthouse has been constructed on the roof of the Library and is not visible from the street, and

WHEREAS, Approximately five years ago the Library obtained approval for a similar penthouse addition, as is now being proposed, that was constructed on the southerly side of the building rooftop; and

WHEREAS, The new, proposed rooftop addition will mimic the southerly penthouse and will provide symmetry to the Library's exterior since it will have an identical appearance when viewed looking down from higher surrounding buildings; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends approval of the application for the penthouse addition to contain HVAC equipment on the north side (with no interior alterations or restoration work to be performed - as initially indicated to CB 5 - other than the work necessary in connection with the new construction).

The above resolution passed by a vote of 23 in favor; 0 opposed; 0 abstentions; 2 present not entitled to vote.

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