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230 Park Avenue, (the former Helmsley Building and the former New York Central Building) application for elevator cab refurbishment

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, Certain interior portions of this building are also landmarked along with the exterior, including 16 of the 24 passenger elevator cabs; and

WHEREAS, The applicant is seeking to standardize and upgrade the materials, technology and features in the interiors of all 24 passenger elevator cabs; and

WHEREAS, The proposed work consists of the following:

a) Walls of the cabs would be rebuilt in wood with a polyester finish, to match the original finish and color;

b) The original inlays and egg and dart moldings will be replicated in bronze;

c) The sky and cloud motif ceilings will be restored with murals painted on canvas and mounted over the existing ceilings (reversible for future conservation purposes);

d) Wooden ceiling ribs will be painted, with color selected based on a paint analysis;

e) Original bronze cornices, rib elements and light fixture/fan units will be stripped of existing layers of paint, restored to original finish and lacquered; and

f) New bronze finish control panels will be installed in the cabs and will contain Captivate LCD screens (which will display building information, weather, news and advertising) and digital floor/direction indicators; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five finds all of the proposed work except for the LCD screens to be appropriate for and harmonious with the interior landmark, and commends the applicant for the thoroughness of its proposal; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five found the proposed LCD screens themselves and their use to display advertising to be inappropriate for this landmarked interior space; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the proposed elevator cab refurbishment work at 230 Park Avenue unless the applicant agrees to remove the new LCD screens which CB5 finds incompatible with the historic character of the elevator cabs. 

The above resolution passed  by a vote of 34 in favor; 3 opposed; 1 abstaining.


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