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860 Broadway, Application to Construct a Rooftop Addition and Storefront / Façade Elements.

At the scheduled monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, November 14, 2013, the Board passed the following resolution by a vote of 38 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, 860 Broadway is a six-story, late nineteenth-century commercial building located in the Ladies Mile Historic District; and

WHEREAS, The building occupies a prominent location at the corner of Broadway and East 17th Street, directly across from the North Plaza of Union Square Park; and

WHEREAS, The building's location across from the open North Plaza makes it prominently visible from many surrounding view corridors in the park, along East 17th Street, and Union Square West; and

WHEREAS, The building is the southern gateway to the Ladies Mile Historic District, and

WHEREAS, The applicant has provided extensive historical documentation regarding the evolution of the façade from 1883 to present; and

WHEREAS, The application includes some historically appropriate storefront changes to the 17th Street façade to re-introduce doorways where they had once been; and

WHEREAS, The application includes an attempt to reintroduce a historic element at the first and second floors (the corner of 17th and Broadway); and

WHEREAS, The new corner element is a modern interpretation and not at all reminiscent of the historic original; and

WHEREAS, This same modern corner element is repeated in the proposed two-story rooftop addition; and

WHEREAS, The rooftop addition is highly visible, and of a contemporary design; and

WHEREAS, The owner's architect conceded that LPC staff did not insist on the customary rooftop mock-ups because the application would have significant visual impact; and

WHEREAS, Approval by LPC would be the wrong signal for owners of other buildings in the Historic District by becoming a precedent for other possible highly visible rooftop additions in the District ; and

WHEREAS, The physical bulk and visual impact of the modern design are not harmonious to or appropriate for the Historic District; and

WHEREAS, Highly visible and non-harmonious rooftop additions negatively alter the character of the Historic District; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application for a Certificate of Appropriateness for 860 Broadway, between 17th and 18th Streets, for a rooftop addition, and new storefront / façade elements.

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