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110 East 42nd Street - Application to Legalize Certain Alterations to the First Floor Interior Landmark.

WHEREAS, 110 East 42nd Street (the "Building"), formerly the Bowery Savings Bank headquarters, has been an individual interior and exterior Landmark since 1996, and was built in 1921-1923 with an addition built in 1931-33; and

WHEREAS, the NYC Planning Commission subsequently included the Building in the Grand Central Zoning Subdistrict ("GCZS"); and

WHEREAS, the ownership of the Building was transferred to a condominium, splitting the ownership into different segments, namely the office tower portion (owned by an entity controlled by S.L. Green, which also owns the Building's unused development rights and is the Applicant), the banking hall (the "Interior Landmark") and the adjacent office space above it (all owned by the Cipriani interests, with the Interior Landmark operated as a catering and event space), and the garage portion of the Building; and

WHEREAS, the Interior Landmark was designed in the Italian Romanesque style by the distinguished architectural firm, York and Sawyer, and is a vast basilica-like banking hall (65 feet high, 80 feet wide, and 197 feet, 6 inches long), with a plaster ceiling designed in imitation of wood beams, and is decorated with a variety of marbles, sandstone, and limestone, and an intricate marble cosmati; and

WHEREAS, in 2008, the Landmark Preservation Commission ("LPC") authorized the Applicant to transfer up to 112,000 square feet of unused development rights to a receiving site in the GCZS which is also controlled by the Applicant; and

WHEREAS, at the time of the LPC authorization to the transfer of the development rights there were reported violations relating to the Interior Landmark which the Applicant agreed to take full financial responsibility for; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five's approval of the transfer of the development rights in November 2008 was conditioned upon the Applicant assuming the full financial responsibility to legalize the alterations to the Interior Landmark, and this is the application to the LPC to legalize such alterations to cure the several outstanding violations; and

WHEREAS, the Applicant will undertake the following with regard to the Interior Landmark in order to legalize the outstanding violations:

                        •           request LPC to permit two non-compliant removable door surrounds at the restrooms on the south end of the Interior Landmark, which are faux painted to match the surrounding masonry walls and used as conduits to carry electrical wiring away from the door thresholds;

                        •           request LPC to permit the non-compliant removable lighting booth at the southwest corner of the Interior Landmark which is faux finished to match the surrounding masonry walls;

                        •           reconstruct the non-compliant removable sound booth at the northeast corner of the Interior Landmark which will be faux finished to match the surrounding masonry walls, extended to meet the floor, and pulled away from the stairs and the bronze panel at the northeast corner of the sound booth; and

                        •           remove the non-compliant end caps from the altered teller cages and install new flat bronze end panels; and

WHEREAS, the specified permissions and alterations are appropriate and will legalize the outstanding violations to the Interior Landmark and will permit its continued use as a catering and event space; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board 5 recommends approval of the application to legalize the outstanding violations to the Interior Landmark at 110 East 42nd Street.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 38 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining, 1 present but not entitled to vote.


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