1619 Broadway, The Brill Building, application for the installation of banner signage to cover the 2nd floor windows on both Broadway and West 49th Street
WHEREAS, The applicant has applied to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for a Certificate of Appropriateness for the installation of (1) banner signage covering the 2nd and 3rd floor windows on both the Broadway and West 49th Street facades, (2) a diagonally placed sign on the corner of Broadway and West 49th Street, and (3) rooftop signage facing north and south; and
WHEREAS, The application involves the Brill Building at 1619 Broadway, an 11-story brick and terra cotta Art Deco building constructed in 1930-31 by Abraham Lefcourt, which was designated as an individual landmark in March 2010 with the support of Community Board Five; and
WHEREAS, The proposed 2nd and 3rd floor banner signage would be affixed within the windows recesses, framed by the limestone piers, would partially obstruct the 2nd and 3rd floor windows for the entire length of both the Broadway and West 49th Street facades, and would be attached by removing a glass panel from each window, resulting in no permanent damage to the façade; and
WHEREAS, The proposed diagonal sign would float away from the 2nd and 3rd story façade at the corner of Broadway and 49th Street and would involve minimal connections to the base building; and
WHEREAS, The proposed north and south facing rooftop signage would replace and extend the length of existing rooftop signage but maintain the height of the existing signs; the orientation of the north facing sign would be shifted so that the new sign would conceal a new cooling tower; existing dunnage would be utilized; and several new non-visible columns would be added behind the brick parapet; and
WHEREAS, There is historic precedent to support all of the proposed signage: historic photos indicate that signage previously existed in all of the proposed locations, and the designation report references (1) large signs on the Broadway and West 49th Street facades and projecting at an angle over the corner claiming the Paradise nightclub as "America's foremost restaurant" with the "world's most beautiful girls", and (2) that roof-top signs contribute to the Brill Building's character and its historic role in Times Square, specifically mentioning the famous Camel cigarettes (1934) and Budweiser beer (c. 1958) multi-story billboards which enjoyed great visibility; and
WHEREAS, The building is located within the signage-saturated Times Square Bowtie, and the proposed signage is minimal when considered in the context of the surrounding buildings; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the application for a Certificate of Appropriateness for the installation of (1) banner signage covering the 2nd and 3rd floor windows on both the Broadway and West 49th Street facades, (2) a diagonally placed sign on the corner of Broadway and West 49th Street, and (3) rooftop signage facing north and south.
The above resolution passed by a vote of 34 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.