270 Fifth Avenue/One West 29th Street, Marble Collegiate Church - Application to remove the modern promenade to provide for a new barrier free entrance and a covered walkway, for better ADA accessibility directly into the Church.
WHEREAS, The Marble Collegiate Church, founded in 1628, is one of the oldest continuous Protestant congregations in North America and its current home was built in 1851-54, designed by Samuel A. Warner in Romanesque Revival style with Gothic trim; the facade is covered in Tuckahoe marble, for which the church, originally called the Fifth Avenue Church, was renamed in 1906; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, the noted author of The Power of Positive Thinking served as senior minister from 1932-1984 and under his ministry, the church's influence reached national levels and became known as "America's Hometown Church"; and
WHEREAS, The Church was designated an individual NYC Landmark in 1967, one of the earliest designations by LPC; and
WHEREAS, Marble Collegiate Church has applied to LPC for approval to remove the modern promenade currently connecting the Landmarked Church to One West 29th Street, (the Marble Collegiate Church's office building) restoring the southerly side of the Church with its original designed side entrance; and
WHEREAS, The Church has presented several historical photographs of this original side entrance which was considered integral to the Church's architecture and utilization; and
WHEREAS, Marble Collegiate Church has also applied to demolish the non-original structure between the Church and the adjacent building to the north of its property on Fifth Avenue to provide for a new barrier free, ADA accessible, covered walkway directly leading into the Church; and
WHEREAS, This non-original structure was not built with the same architectural design or materials and is no longer used as offices for the Church; and
WHEREAS, The demolition of the structure will allow for the Church's Tiffany windows which have been obstructed by the structure to be seen from the outside, enhancing the Church's appearance; and
WHEREAS, A representative of CB5 visited the Church and observed that the current ADA entrance is at the furthest access point to the Church on West 29th Street, at the freight and refuse disposal entrance; and
WHEREAS, Community Board Five has reviewed impressive, detailed architectural designs and a scale model prepared by Helpern Architects representing the proposed modifications embodying the Church's "Master Plan", including qualifying for a NYC Public Assembly Permit, although not strictly required, nevertheless, being obtained to satisfy the congregation on the feasibility and safety of the major renovations being undertaken; therefore be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval for the Marble Collegiate Church to remove the modern promenade now connecting the Landmarked Church to One West 29th Street at the southerly side of the Church and the removal of the building to its north to provide for new barrier free entrances and a new covered walkway for better ADA accessibility directly into the Church, as well as enhanced visibility of this historic structure.
The above resolution passed by a vote of 34 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.