457 Madison Avenue, bet. 50th & 51st Streets, application for a minor modification to the north façade of the Villard Houses to create an ADA accessible entry to the building and other minor building changes
WHEREAS, 457 Madison Avenue, between 50th & 51st Streets, the Villard Houses, was constructed in 1884, designed by the architectural firm McKim, Meade and White three years after they started their company, commissioned by Henry Villard, then president of the Northern Pacific Railroad; and
WHEREAS, In 1968, the NYC Landmarks Preservation designated the complex an individual Landmark; and
WHEREAS, The NYC real estate developer, Harry B. Helmsley, constructed the 51-story New York Palace Hotel tower directly behind the original building, designed by architects Emery Roth & Sons and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer in 1977 which was completed in 1980; and
WHEREAS, What was once The Villard Mansion's carriage entrance on Madison Avenue is now the New York Palace's famed Courtyard; and
WHEREAS, The two-story marble lobby joins The Villard Mansion with the hotel to form the ultimate in New York City luxury hotels; and
WHEREAS, The current owners of the hotel complex have applied to NYC LPC for approval of a modification to one existing entrance door on the northerly side of the property on East 51st Street for a retail store entrance, providing an ADA compliant entrance leading to an interior elevator; and
WHEREAS, The proposed design and the materials to be used for this double door are harmonious with the appearance of the existing two doors and other parts of the building; and
WHEREAS, There was some discussion about the "eyebrow" canopy above the retail doorway entrance, which while not original to the building, has been "grandfathered" from the time of designation and has not been found objectionable by LPC staff; and
WHEREAS, Additional minor changes to the roof are being requested by the Applicant including a small elevator roof hatch projecting 12" above the roof line; a new louver in an existing window opening with a finish to match the existing louver; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant is also making extensive interior building modifications, some of which involve ADA compliance, but are not part of this Application; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of building modifications at 457 Madison Avenue, between 50th & 51st Streets, to create an ADA accessible entryway and other minor building changes to the north façade of the Villard Houses.
The above resolution passed by a vote of 36 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.