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11 East 51 Street, the John Pierce Residence, proposed landmark.

WHEREAS, 11 East 51 Street, the John Peirce Residence, built in 1904-6, is a Beaux-Arts five story limestone townhouse, designed by the noted architect, John Duncan who also designed many other significant townhouses in New York City, as well as Grant's Tomb and the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Arch in Brooklyn; and

WHEREAS, This remarkably intact example of the exuberant townhouses that once lined the streets along Fifth Avenue south of Central Park, and its two neighboring townhouses form an enclave directly across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral and are the only three remaining townhouses on the block; and

WHEREAS, John Peirce, the so-called "Granite King," was one of the largest and best known cut stone contractors in the country and completed the stone contracts for notable New York City buildings such as the United States Customs House and the Surrogates Court Building, both designated landmark buildings; and

WHEREAS, Peirce obviously took pride in the crafting of his own residence which is faced entirely with cut and intricately carved limestone; and 

WHEREAS, The three lower floors are completely rusticated and are ornamented with an iron balcony and cartouches and the smooth-stone upper floors have arched rounded windows and two carved wreaths; and

WHEREAS, Peirce lived in this home for less than ten years after which it home for the Gardner School for Girls from 1 916 to 1933, and now it is owned by Banco Mercantil de Venezuela; and

WHEREAS, Extensive development in the area has led to the demolition of most of the lavish townhouses that once lined the side streets off Fifth Avenue which were replaced by massive high rise buildings; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends that 11 East 51 Street, the John Peirce Residence, be approved as a Designated New York City Landmark based on its distinctive architecture, historical significance and cultural importance to the City.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 30 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.

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