<< Back


510 Fifth Avenue, aka 508-514 Fifth Avenue; 2 West 43rd Street, Manufacturers Trust Company Building, Certificate of Appropriateness application for alterations to the exterior and the designated interior portions

WHEREAS, 510 Fifth Avenue, aka 508-514 Fifth Avenue; 2 West 43rd Street, Manufacturers Trust Company Building, has been an  individual Exterior Landmark since 1997 and  the first two floors were approved by LPC as an Interior Landmark on February 15, 2011 ( CB 5  concurred, Approving unanimously on February 10, 2011 by a vote of 33-o with 1 Abstention); and

WHEREAS, The current owner, Vornado Realty Trust, has applied to LPC for a Certificate of Appropriateness for alterations to parts of the exterior and the designated interior portions to adaptively reuse the former bank building into spaces to accommodate two retail tenants; and

WHEREAS, One of the two tenants has been determined to be Joe Fresh, a retail clothing subsidiary of  Loblaw Companies Ltd., Canada's largest food distributor, which will lease the northerly portion of the ground floor and all of the second floor, as its first entry into the United States market, intending it  to be its flagship store in this highly visible and iconic building with a prized location; and

WHEREAS, Vornado reported to CB 5 that it was unable to find a single suitable tenant for the entire two floors and is still in the process of seeking the second tenant for the southerly portion of the ground floor where the prominent Mosler vault door, which can be seen from Fifth Avenue, is situated; and

WHEREAS, Given the adaptive reuse of the building for retail purposes at street level, prospective tenants require new Fifth Avenue entrances plus other significant interior building modifications at street level and the second floor to meet their needs; and

WHEREAS, Vornado has engaged the services of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the original architects for the building,to restore some of the significant Landmarked portions of the interior of the building which, until last month were not designated, as well as to redesign certain interior and exterior building elements for the new retail tenants; and

WHEREAS, The restoration includes:

1.      Replacing the existing yellow acrylic panels with new acrylic panels to give a unified reading to the building similar to its original white appearance, i.e., the original ceiling design was  luminous  and the lighting source was cold cathode with a white color rendition; over the years the energy inefficient light source was changed to fluorescent with inconsistent color temperature;

2.      Removing an existing (not original) ceiling divide between the first and second floors to restore it to a mezzanine-like condition with a new glass ceiling

3.      Cleaning and polishing the existing vault door

4.      Replacing the original Bertoia-designed Screen Sculpture, which was removed by Chase, prior to Interior Designation, with a new screen designed by SOM (Note: CB 5 requested that Chase be contacted by LPC to request the Bertoia screen to be returned, and according to Vornado, Chase has set a prohibitive price for it as a work of art); and

WHEREAS, The redesign includes:

1.      Two new entrances on Fifth Avenue and moving the former Chase Banking Floor entrance further west on West 43rd Street, all in three glass door modules, the same as the original building doors, which can be changed in the future, depending on prospective tenancies

2.      A new demising wall separating the two retail tenants at the ground floor with an 18" glass portion at the top, in compliance with NYC Building Code requirements

3.      Demolishing the concrete vault and its interior, just leaving the vault door and its surrounding concrete 

4.      Installing a new glass elevator connecting the ground and second floors and relocating and redesigning the two existing escalators to suit the interior circulation needs of  the new tenant, Joe Fresh

5.      New signage for the retail tenants which has not been designed as yet; and

WHEREAS,  This C of A is calendared for a Hearing at LPC for March 15, 2011 and details and renderings of signage for the new tenant, Joe Fresh, and the prospective tenant for the southerly space have not been presented to CB 5; and 

WHEREAS, The Applicant has agreed to return to CB 5 for a presentation of its signage proposal; therefore, be it 

RESOLVED, CB5 approves a Certificate of Appropriateness Application for alterations to the exterior and the designated interior portions of 510 Fifth Avenue, aka 508-514 Fifth Avenue; 2 West 43rd Street, Manufacturers Trust Company Building, based on its presentation to CB 5; and, be it further 

RESOLVED, CB5 does not approve any new signage for 510 Fifth Avenue until the Applicant makes a complete, satisfactory presentation of such signage to CB 5.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 26 in favor; 2 opposed; 1 abstaining.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter