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202-204 Fifth Avenue application for façade restoration and modifications

WHEREAS, 202 Fifth Avenue, located in the Madison Square North Historic District, is a 1919 neo-Classical six-story office building designed by noted architect Ely Jacques Kahn (his earliest commission), with 3 fully developed facades on Broadway, West 25th Street and Fifth Avenue; and

WHEREAS, 204 Fifth Avenue is a 1913 Beaux-Arts style building designed by Charles P.H. Gilbert, described as an “impressive three-story limestone-fronted building [that] features a pedimented entry, surmounted by a monumental double-height arch and balustrade”; and

WHEREAS, The application proposes alterations and restorative work to the facades of both buildings including recreating missing architectural features on the façade and other exterior repairs; replacing windows and doors; a new canopy; a rooftop addition of occupiable space at 204 Fifth Avenue; and a new elevator bulkhead at 204 Fifth Avenue; and

WHEREAS, The proposed recreation of missing architectural features include: reconstruction of a sheet metal cornice and cresting, reconstruction of a sheet metal balcony, on the East facade of 204 Fifth Avenue that will help restore the building to its original design; and

WHEREAS, The replacement of windows and doors on 202 Fifth Avenue are consistent with the current design of the façade; and

WHEREAS, The application proposes to restore the limestone façade, the historic arched metal window, the limestone cornice above entryway at 204 Fifth Avenue; and

WHEREAS, The application proposes to add pin mounted non lit signage painted black, remove an existing door to be replaced with a new window opening and limestone base to match existing historic façade, create new grille at base of façade to replicate original, at 204 Fifth Avenue; and

WHEREAS, The application proposes to relocate the entrance to the building at 202 Fifth Avenue from Fifth Avenue to West 25th Street, and adding a stainless steel canopy above the new entrance (while removing the existing canopy from Fifth Avenue), and

WHEREAS, in 2013, Community Board Five disapproved the installation of a canopy above the existing entrance on Fifth Avenue, and while the canopy was subsequently approved by LPC, Community Board Five still believes that a canopy in non-contextual, non-historic and inappropriate for the building; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application for the proposed changes to 202 Fifth Avenue and 204 Fifth Avenue, unless the addition of a canopy on the 25th street façade is removed from the proposal.

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