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636 6th Avenue, Ladies Mile Historic District, application to modify the existing entrance and canopy.

WHEREAS, 636 Avenue of the Americas, with facades on Avenue of the Americas (extending 68 feet) and West 19th Street (extending 152 feet), is a six-story neo-Renaissance store building, constructed in 1896 and designed by Buchman and Deisler and named the Alexander Building, after the person who acquired the building in 1897 for use as a shoe store; and

WHEREAS, 636 Avenue of the Americas is located within the Ladies Mile Historic District; and

WHEREAS, Although the ground floor of the building has been extensively altered, the upper levels retain much of the original detail, including pilasters creating bays, arched windows, and a narrow cornice on the Sixth Avenue façade and, on the more elaborate 19th Street façade, a large central section flanked by pavilions, bays, an arch on the third story flanked by masonry balconies, elaborate Renaissance-style window surrounds on the 4th and 5th floors, and a crowning cornice that continues the cornice on Sixth Avenue; and

WHEREAS, A fire escape was previously installed on the 19th Street façade over three bays, with a portion of the cornice removed at the uppermost level to facilitate the completion and use of the fire escape; and

WHEREAS, The owner is applying to remove the abandoned, non-original, non-ornamental fire escape, and to re-create the window openings where doors to the fire escape were inserted into the façade and restore the cornice where it was removed for fire escape access to the roof; and

WHEREAS, The existing door openings on the second through sixth floor façade will be infilled to restore the original window dimension using brick and limestone to match the original materials and profiles; and

WHEREAS, The materials for the windows will be high performance, thermally broken aluminum sash with insulated glazing and sightlines and profiles consistent with the existing; and

WHEREAS, The missing portion of the cornice will be replaced with a painted metal cornice to match the existing cornice, including ornamental details; and

WHEREAS, The owner proposes modifying the existing entrance and canopy to replace three narrow bays that now include freight doors ornamented in an Art Deco style inconsistent with the original and a sloping canvas awning that obscures the first tier of transom lights above the doors and the removal of non-original sconces framing this section; and

WHEREAS, The proposed entrance would widen the entrance to engage two of the three bays to restore the emphasis on the entrance rather than the freight handling and will include contemporary tempered glass doors and transoms with the upper transom lights restored to within their historic frames; and

WHEREAS, The owner proposes an awning of metal and glass in a contemporary design to provide protection and mark the entrance at the far eastern edge of the 19th Street portion of the building; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends approval of the request to remove the fire escape and restore the cornice and windows that were altered due to the addition of the firescape; and, therefore be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that Community Board Five recommends approval of the request to revise the entrance at the eastern edge of the building, including the proposed canopy, signage and entry.

 The above resolution passed in two parts as follows:

Part 1 - By a vote of 35 in favor, 1 opposed, 1 abstained

Part 2 - By a vote of 23 in favor, 13 opposed 



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