200 Fifth Avenue, Tiffany and Company, application to refurbish the existing street clock.
WHEREAS, 200 Fifth Avenue, originally called the Fifth Avenue Building, later known as the International Toy Center, is in the Ladies' Mile Historic District and is a neo-Renaissance style store and loft building built in 1908 - 1909, designed by Maynicke & Franke; and
WHEREAS, In 1909, the owners installed an ornamental street clock in front of the building replacing a prior clock which was removed when the previous building housing the Fifth Avenue Hotel was demolished in 1908; and
WHEREAS, Desiring their clock to be in keeping with the high tone of their new office building, the owners commissioned the esteemed Brooklyn firm of Hecla Iron Works to produce their clock case; and
WHEREAS, Hecla had produced 133 cast iron NYC Subway kiosks as well as important cast iron building facades like the B. Altman & Co. Department Store and the New York Life Insurance Building; and
WHEREAS, This is one of the most ornate street clocks in the city, sitting on a rectangular base with classical ornamentation, a fluted Ionic column rising to a capital inspired by the work of 16th Century Venetian architect Vioncenzo Scamozzi, with two large dials on its face which advertised the "Fifth Avenue Building," surrounded by oak leaf wreaths and, to make the cast iron clock even more a work of art, it was then gilded; and
WHEREAS, As the result of a vehicular accident, the base of the street clock has been severely damaged and the clock has not been kept in good working condition for a number of years; and
WHEREAS, According to a September 6, 2007 CB5 Resolution approving a Master Plan for the building, as consideration for major building modifications and renovations, the owners of 200 Fifth Avenue "agreed to preserve and keep in good working order the landmarked sidewalk clock," which they have failed to do; and
WHEREAS, Tiffany & Co. has signed a lease with the owner, L & L Holding Co. for 260,000 sq. ft. of the 800,000 sq. ft. building and has applied for a C of A to refurbish the street clock, reportedly including replacing the existing "Fifth Avenue Building" lettering with the Tiffany name on the clock face; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant failed to appear at the scheduled CB5 Landmarks Committee meeting on May 3, 2011 to describe its proposal; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five denies the application by Tiffany & Co. to refurbish the existing street clock in front of 200 Fifth Avenue; and be it further,
RESOLVED, Community Board Five requests the building owner to fulfill its obligation to preserve and restore the street clock with its original decorative features as set forth in the September 6, 2007 Community Board Five resolution without making any changes in the wording on the clock face; and be it further
RESOLVED, CB5 would not object if a small metal plaque were set into the sidewalk pavement near the clock attributing the clock restoration to Tiffany & Co., if Tiffany & Co. assumes the responsibility for the restoration and underwrites the cost.
:The above resolution passed by a vote of 35 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.