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Hotel Wolcott - 4-10 West 31st Street - Proposed Designation

WHEREAS, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission ("LPC") has notified Community Board Five ("CB5") of a Public Hearing to be held October 26, 2010 concerning the Proposed Designation of Hotel Wolcott, 4-10 West 31st Street (Fifth Avenue/Broadway) in a letter dated October 4, 2010; and

WHEREAS, A copy of this letter was made available to the Landmarks Committee of CB5 October 5, 2010, the same date as its Landmarks Committee Meeting; and

WHEREAS, This extremely late notice did not provide adequate time for members of CB5 to investigate and visit the site proposed for designation; and

WHEREAS, LPC has been repeatedly unresponsive to CB5's previous requests for postponement of hearings when the CB5 Monthly Calendar did not provide appropriate time for CB5 to perform its advisory role pursuant to Section 25-313 of the Administrative Code of NYC; and

WHEREAS, CB5 regards its advisory role seriously and was forced to act on this Proposed Designation with the limited information provided by LPC, a brief one page narrative including only one photograph, or be put in the position of not be heard at all by LPC; and 

WHEREAS, Hotel Wolcott was designed in the Beaux Arts tradtion by John H. Duncan, one of the City's most prominent architects at the turn of the last century; and

WHEREAS, Duncan is best known as the designer of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Arch at Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn and the General Ulysses S. Grant Tomb in Riverside Park, Manhattan; and

WHEREAS, The 12-story Hotel Wolcott is clad in limestone and clad brick, with a two-and-one-half-story rusticated base, two central bays of windows arranged with continuous elaborate metal oriels, decorative metal balconies, a profusion of carved stone ornament including cartouches and heads, a prominent modillioned cornice and a two-story mansard roof with dormers; and

WHEREAS, Over the years its occupants have included Henry Miller, Edith Wharton and Buddy Holly when it was a more fashionable hotel, and is now operated as a "discount" lodging, but retains its imposing facade very much intact; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, CB5 recommends approval of Hotel Wolcott, 4-10 West 31st Street (Fifth Avenue/Broadway) as a New York City Landmark.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 34 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.

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