<< Back


202 5th Avenue, Application for interior and exterior renovation

At the scheduled monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, March 14, 2013, the Board passed the following resolution by a vote of 33 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, 202 5th Avenue, located in the Ladies Mile Historic District, was built in 1919 by Buchman & Kahn and was known at its opening as the Thomas Cusack Building; and

WHEREAS, It is a six-story building constructed of load-bearing brick with terracotta facing; and

WHEREAS, The building is located just north of Worth Square with frontages on Broadway and 5th Avenue with a long frontage on East 25th Street; and

WHEREAS, The 25th Street frontage was treated from its opening as a promotional billboard that was lit after dark and included signage with the firm's name and services as well as in a roof-top sign; and

WHEREAS, The ground floor has been significantly changed over the decades, including the reconfiguration and redesign of the windows followed by the removal of the windows and is currently configured with display windows and a granite façade; and

WHEREAS, While the upper floors remain essentially intact, changes that have been made include the removal in 1940 of the vertical rows of outer windows on the 5th Avenue façade and the revision of the middle windows on that façade; and

WHEREAS, The building was acquired in 2012 by Porcelanosa, a large Spanish tile, flooring and kitchen fixture manufacturer and distributor which engaged the services of the esteemed architect, Sir Norman Foster, and his firm, to prepare the renovation plans for the building; and

WHEREAS, The Application includes a reconstruction of the South parapet and new signage without any change to the existing parapet height; and

WHEREAS, Damaged terracotta tiles and cornices will be repaired; and

WHEREAS, The historic window openings on the south façade will be restored as in the original building; and

WHEREAS, The existing window openings will be given new windows and glass; and

WHEREAS, The proposed ground floor re-configuration and finishes more directly connect with the historic upper floors and the architectural direction of the building overall; and

WHEREAS, The exterior lighting plan reflects the original building's use and has been designed to not intrude visually on the neighborhood; and

WHEREAS, The plan to move the main entrance to 5th Avenue from 25th Street has historic precedents in the building; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant has agreed to revise the marquee in the submitted design in terms of size and look so as not to intrude on the view south towards the Flatiron Building and to consider other styles and finishes more appropriate to the history of the building and its location; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Except for the proposed 5th Avenue marquee which is not approved, Community Board Five recommends approval of the balance of the proposed renovations at 202 5th Avenue

Sign Up For Our Newsletter