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150 Fifth Avenue: Application for construction of a rooftop addition including new mechanicals, light-well infills, window replacement, and entry modifications.

WHEREAS, 150 Fifth Avenue is located within the Ladies' Mile Historic District with facades on Fifth Avenue and West 20th Street, and is an eleven story Romanesque Revival building built in 1888-1890 for the Methodist Book Concern designed by Edward Hale Kendall; and

WHEREAS, This building has seen two large additions shortly after construction, including the 8-floor matching western-most bay in 1900 and a three-story ornate terracotta and copper rooftop addition in 1909; and

WHEREAS, The applicant proposes to add a modern rooftop addition of two stories on the eastern portion of the building and three stories on the western portion of the building as well as the addition of new bulkheads and mechanical equipment; and

WHEREAS, The applicant also proposes to infill two existing light-wells as part of the rooftop additions and building expansion; and

WHEREAS, The applicant also proposes to replace all existing original wood-framed arched windows on the 2nd, 6th, and 8th floors with painted aluminum double-hung or stationary windows that maintain the arch appearance from the exterior (which is the current configuration), as well as replace two existing original wood-framed, pivot, circular windows on the 2nd floor with painted aluminum, stationary windows; and

WHEREAS, The applicant proposes to replace existing modern aluminum doors at the Fifth Avenue entrance with modern painted aluminum and ultra-clear glass, and replace the existing metal and plywood paneling at the 20th St service entrance with painted solid metal doors and transoms; and

WHEREAS, The alterations to the Fifth Avenue entrance and the 20th Street service entrance are unobtrusive; and

WHEREAS, The window removal of existing original wood materials and opening mechanisms is unacceptable since they are highly valuable to the fabric of this building and to the historic district; and

WHEREAS, The rooftop addition is using modern design and materials of metal and floor-to-ceiling windows that are not contextual or appropriate for this landmark, nor is the bulk and height of the proposed addition; and

WHEREAS, The proposed rooftop additions would be very visible from Fifth Avenue, the most prestigious thoroughfare in our district and East 20th Street, which will heavily detract from the intricately detailed façades of the existing building; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application by 150 Fifth Avenue for rooftop additions, light-well infills, window replacement, and entry modifications; and be it further

RESOLVED, CB5 urges LPC to deny replacement of hundreds of original wood-framed windows on this building with painted aluminum windows, which is a decision made by the LPC staff.

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