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109 East 50th Street and Park Ave., St. Bartholomew’s Church, application to resurface the terrace and related matters

WHEREAS, St. Bartholomew’s Church, built in 1919, designed by eminent architect, Bertram G. Goodhue, incorporating the 1902 McKim, Mead & White entrance portal of the previous St. Bartholomew’s Church on Madison Avenue, is a prominent New York City Landmark which was designated in 1967; and

WHEREAS, This Romanesque Church provides a harmonious setting for the Stanford White portal and gives Park Avenue, between East 50th and 51st Streets an oasis of open space, color, variety of form and detail, including a large, open 4,200 square foot Terrace, which is used as a restaurant with tables and chairs in warm weather and contains various planters all year round; and

WHEREAS, The Terrace is in need of extensive resurfacing which will require the removal of the existing terracotta tiles and the waterproofing membrane; and

WHEREAS, The Terrace’s limestone parapet walls on Park Avenue and on 50th Street will be reconstructed using, for the most part, the existing limestone blocks together with replacement blocks, if needed; and

WHEREAS, The bluestone steps leading up from Park Avenue to the Terrace will be removed and replaced using reconditioned bluestones from the existing steps; and

WHEREAS, The restoration of the Terrace, the parapet walls, and the bluestone steps will include the following:

WHEREAS, The proposed restoration work of the Terrace will install a pavement system including waterproofing, using material that harmonizes with the existing Terrace and draws upon the original design for the design of the Terrace pavement layout; and

WHEREAS, The applicant has advised that it  is considering, if cost permits, the use of granite blocks instead of pressed concrete pavers to replace the Terrace’s terracotta tiles, which the Community Board strongly objects to because of the differences in the granite’s size and color from the existing terracotta; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the application of St. Bartholomew’s Church, 109 East 50th Street, to resurface the Terrace with pressed concrete pavers, repair the Terrace’s parapet walls and the Park Avenue approach and bluestone steps to the Terrace, and replace the seven non-usable clerestory windows located below grade or behind stone grilles in the parapet walls.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 29 in favor; 9 opposed; 1 abstaining.

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