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130 West 30th Street Application for Storefront Modifications and Rear Wall Changes.

WHEREAS, 130 West 30th Street is an individual NYC Landmark, designated in 2001, and designed by Cass Gilbert, architect of many prominent structures throughout the U.S., such as the Woolworth Building facing City Hall Park, the U.S. Supreme Court, New York Life Building in CB 5, U.S. Custom House facing Bowling Green, U.S. Courthouse at Foley Square and three State Capitols (MN, AK and WV); and

WHEREAS, This building was completed in 1927, when architectural styles were changing from neo-Gothic to Art Deco, and served as a commercial building until its renovation and conversion of its upper floors to condominium apartments in 2003; and

WHEREAS, The building, now named after Cass Gilbert (with his family's consent) has a façade with exotic two-tone terra cotta panels and friezes depicting Assyrian winged horses, roaring lions and racing chariots that were executed by the same company that worked with the architect on the Woolworth Building; and

WHEREAS, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah has purchased the first floor commercial condominium unit for a reported price of $7.1 million for their use as a synagogue and community center for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Jews; and 

WHEREAS, The Congregation is proposing to modify the non-historic storefront as follows:

 - remove one of two entrances

- replace the door on the remaining entrance in a more historically appropriate style

- repair original metal grills

- replace as needed and replicate for the infill of the former entry

- remove two canvas awnings and replace with a modest metal canopy

- reverse paint the storefront vertical glass with gold and black bars in the style of historic window signs

- place two 24 in X 24 " signs on either side of the entry with the name of the synagogue in English and Hebrew

- install two small LCD monitors inside the glass windows announcing classes, lectures and other information; and

WHEREAS, The non-historic storefront is similar to the original Cass Gilbert designed storefront in fenestration and profile; and

WHEREAS, CB 5 elected not to review or comment on rear wall changes in the application since they are not visible from the public way; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the application for 130 West 30th Street for storefront changes and does not take a position on the rear wall modifications.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 34 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.


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