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230 Park Avenue, (the former Helmsley Building and the former New York Central Building) application to install new electrical equipment, including transformers and switchgear on the east side of the 16th floor roof

WHEREAS, 230 Park Avenue (between East 45th and East 46th Streets), formerly known as the New York Central Building, then known as the New York General Building, more recently known as the Helmsley Building, has been an individual NYC Landmark since its designation March 31, 1987, designed by Warren and Wetmore as part of the complex of buildings surrounding Grand Central Station, also designed by these same architects; and

WHEREAS, Built in 1929 as the luxurious headquarters for the New York Central Railroad, 230 Park Avenue is a 34-story office building strategically straddling Park Avenue at East 46th Street to East 45th Street, offering a premier location as a direct connection to Grand Central Terminal; and

WHEREAS. The building requires a major electrical service upgrade including two new feeders, four transformers and switching gear to continue its use as a major Class A office building and after extensive study, its owners and architects, Beyer, Blinder, Belle, have determined that the best location for the new equipment would be on the east side of the 16th story roof setback which is halfway up the 34 story building; and

WHEREAS, This roof already contains other mechanical and electrical equipment and the impact of the 3 foot raised platform and the housing for the new electrical equipment is not deemed detrimental to the overall appearance of the building as indicated in photographs of mock-ups of the 3 ft. high platform and the 7 1/2 and 10 1/2 ft. housing additions on the rooftop; and

WHEREAS, Photographs showing  mock-ups of the proposed additions indicate a minimal visual negative impact; however, the mock-ups themselves were removed before CB 5 had an opportunity to see them in place,  which CB 5 takes issue with; and

WHEREAS, LPC staff usually is given the authority to approve electrical and mechanical equipment placement on the roof tops of individual Landmarks, the Commission required a Public Hearing in this instance because the owner of another Landmark, 280 Broadway, recently installed a roof top cooling tower without LPC approval, and LPC now wants a full Public review of such additions on prominent Landmarks such as this; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the roof top additions to the easterly side of the 16th floor roof top at 230 Park Avenue for the installation and housing of new electrical equipment.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 37 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.


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