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510 Fifth Avenue, aka 508-514 Fifth Avenue; 2 West 43rd Street, Manufacturers Trust Company Building, proposed designation first and second floor interiors

WHEREAS, On February 1, 2011 the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission held a public hearing on the designation of the interior of the former Manufacturers Trust Company Building at 510 Fifth Avenue; and

WHEREAS, This Hearing took place before Community Board Five was given sufficient time to consider and take a position on the matter; and

WHEREAS, This 1954 Modern masterpiece, designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill and completed in 1954, was designated as an individual NYC Landmark in 1997; and

WHEREAS, Only the exterior of the building was actually protected at the time of designation; and  

WHEREAS, The first and second floor interiors of the five story building are considered integral elements of the transparent building faced with curtain wall glass; and

WHEREAS, In October 2010, JPMorgan Chase, the successor to Manufacturers Trust, vacated the building (which is now owned by Vornado Realty Trust) and removed a 70 foot building long, site-specific wall sculpture by the note sculptor, Harry Bertoia; and

WHEREAS, Bertoia's sculptures are in the Brooklyn, Cleveland, Smithsonian, Philadelphia Art Museums, Cornell University, Dallas Public Library and Chicago Botanic Gardens; and

WHEREAS, Prominent preservationists and architects, including Historic Districts Council, DOCOMOMO/Tri-State, Preservation League of New York State, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Recent Past Preservation Network, and Institute for Classical Architecture & Classical America, have called for interior designation of the first two floors; and

WHEREAS, At the February 1, 2011 LPC hearing a dozen individuals spoke in favor of the designation, including representatives of Vornado Realty, the present owner, and Skidmore Owings and Merrill, the original architects; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the proposed designation first and second floor interiors of 510Fifth Avenue, aka 508-514 Fifth Avenue; 2 West 43rd Street, Manufacturers Trust Company Building; and be it further 

RESOLVED, Community Board Five requests that the LPC request that JPMorgan Chase return the entire Harry Bertoia sculpture to the building and that it be incorporated into any future use, retail or otherwise.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 33 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.

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