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301 Park Avenue, The Waldorf Astoria, application for amendment to previously approved full window replacement plan

WHEREAS, The Waldorf Astoria is located at 301 Park Avenue between East 49th and East 50th Streets, and is a storied Art Deco twin-towered hotel completed in 1931 by architectural firm Schultze & Weaver; and

WHEREAS, The 1,413-room Hotel was purchased in 2014 by Anbang Insurance Group and is currently closed for a partial conversion to a residential condominium and hotel mix; and

WHEREAS, The Waldorf Astoria's exterior was landmarked in 1993 and several interior spaces were landmarked in 2017 with full support by Community Board Five; and

WHEREAS, In 2017 the applicant proposed a full renovation and restoration of the Landmark of its interior and exterior, which Community Board Five supported with several conditions, with part of that renovation plan including full window replacement of mostly non-original double-hung windows numbering over 5,300 to painted aluminum double-hung windows that would have replicated the Landmark's original steel windows in appearance, glazing, operation, size, and casing detail; and

WHEREAS, The applicant is proposing to amend its renovation plan to include a newly designed window that has a change in opening mechanism so that the upper sash becomes stationary and the lower sash becomes a casement window that tilts inward, as well as having a slightly larger glazing area, and a more modern and plain exterior window casing with a very different relief profile that is ¾" thinner on each side and 15/16" thinner on the bottom and 3/8" thinner on the top; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five realizes that such an important and world-famous Landmark with such a large number of windows, requires an extreme amount of care when it comes to its renovation, and that the change in mechanism and modern, plain window casing is far too different from the original elements of the Landmark, will alter the integrity of the building, and is extremely different from what was previously approved by Community Board Five and the Landmarks Preservation Commission; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of The Waldorf Astoria's application to amend a previously approved plan for window replacement.

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