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652 Lexington Avenue, Central Synagogue, application to Landmarks requesting a Report approving Continuing Maintenance Program pursuant to Section 81-64 of the Zoning Resolution.

WHEREAS, Central Synagogue is a synagogue and community center located at 652 Lexington Avenue on the South West corner at East 55th Street; and WHEREAS, The synagogue is an individual landmark, built between 1870 and 1872, designed by Henry Fernback in the Moorish Revival style; and

WHEREAS, Central Synagogue is considered one of the finest extant examples of that style, executed in durable materials and striking in design; and

WHEREAS, Central Synagogue was designated a landmark in 1966 and a National Historic Landmark in 1975; and

WHEREAS, Central Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in continuous use by a congregation in New York City; and

WHEREAS, The applicant has requested approval for a continuing maintenance plan in perpetuity as required in order to facilitate the potential transfer of approximately 142,000 square feet of undeveloped air rights pursuant to ZR 81-64; and

WHEREAS, The maintenance plan includes a detailed scope, methodology of assessment, and timetable for work based on the identification of funds as air rights transfers are finalized; and

WHEREAS, The plan presented by the applicant is focused on bringing the structure to good condition; and

WHEREAS, The synagogue will present the details of each air rights transaction to Community Board Five, including the amount of square feet being transferred and the receiving site; and

WHEREAS, The applicant recognizes that the specific work to be done, such as, but not limited to, revisions to original materials, colors, structures, lighting, and mechanisms will be brought before Community Board Five at the time when any changes or alterations have been identified; and

WHEREAS, The applicant has stated a commitment to maintaining the integrity of all design and architectural elements of Central Synagogue; and WHEREAS, Central Synagogue’s previous work on the venue, and most especially after the devastating 1998 fire, has clearly demonstrated their commitment to the historic fabric of the landmark; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five agrees that the maintenance plan and restoration work as presented demonstrate a robust quality of craftsmanship and respect for the landmark; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval for the application by Central Synagogue for the Continuing Maintenance Report pursuant to ZR Section 81-64.

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