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23-25 West 20th Street (bet. 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue), application for a new storefront

WHEREAS, 23-25 West 20th Street is a commercial Utilitarian Parking garage built in 1926-27 for Ectore Realty Corporation and designed by Matthew W. Del Gaudio; and 

WHEREAS, 23-25 West 20th Street is located in the Ladies Mile Historic District and was designated a landmark in 1989; and

WHEREAS, The severe planar facade is of light-colored brick and is punctuated by large, metal-framed multi-pane windows with pivoting panels; and

WHEREAS, The metal-framed windows are very rare and hold historical significance for the District; and

WHEREAS, The applicant intends to convert the building's parking garage entrance into retail space on the basement and first floor and class A office space on the six floors above the first floor; and

WHEREAS, The applicant intends to replace the original metal-framed windows on the facade of the building with fixed aluminum frame windows; and

WHEREAS, The applicant intends to remove the ground level center brick signage molding above the garage entrance; and

WHEREAS, The applicant intends to remove two large multi pane historic transom windows, and replace them with very large clear glass infill; and

WHEREAS, The proposed storefront is made up of exceedingly large and tall glass panes that detract from the rest of the streetscape and conflict with the architectural style of the district; and

WHEREAS, The original intent of the facade is neither preserved nor restored; and

WHEREAS, The historical character and elements such as the steel-framed windows, pivoting panels, large transom windows at ground level as well as signage molding on the facade are not preserved or restored; and

WHEREAS, The applicant does not make any attempt to retain the historical integrity of the building; and

WHEREAS, The proposed modifications to the building entrance are very modern, not appropriate for the building, the streetscape and the District; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application for a new storefront at 23-25 West 20th Street.

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