123 West 44th Street, application for signage
WHEREAS, 123 West 44th Street, currently known as the AKA Hotel, was constructed in 1893 by George Keister as The Gerard (Hotel) and considered an exceptionally fine brick, limestone and terra-cotta apartment hotel, an important and popular building type in the late 19th century; and
WHEREAS, It was designed in an unusual style that combines late Romanesque Revival and German Gothic and Renaissance forms to create a handsome and sophisticated work that reflects Keister's architectural philosophy; and
WHEREAS, The Gerard - later the Langwell Hotel - was in the vanguard of the development of the Times Square area; and
WHEREAS, It is considered one of the more architecturally distinguished and visually prominent buildings in Midtown West; and
WHEREAS, The owners have requested to remove a large banner on the west facing façade and replace this banner with a painted wall with the name of the hotel, "AKA"; and
WHEREAS, A painted wall is in keeping with the historic signage of the Langwell Hotel at the time of designation (and other buildings in the Times Square area) and is within the appropriate Landmark guidelines; and
WHEREAS, The painted sign will be approximately 5 stories tall and be approximately 10 feet across; and
WHEREAS, The applicants have also requested the installation of a "blade" sign (with the hotel's logo, "AKA," applied on both sides of a two-story, thin panel) on the primary West 44th Street façade; and
WHEREAS, The Langwell Hotel included a blade sign in the same approximate location and the requested sign can be read from both directions; therefore be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the application to install a blade sign on the primary façade of 123 West 44th Street, to remove the current banner sign on the West-facing façade and replace it with a painted sign as detailed in the application.
The above resolution passed by a vote of 33 in favor; 4 opposed; 1 abstaining.