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595 Madison Ave (Fuller Building), between 57th and 58th street, application to renovate double bronze doors in the interior lobby

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, July 09, 2020, the following resolution passed with a vote of 42 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, 595 Madison Ave (Fuller Building), at the corner with East 57th Street, was designed by Walker & Gillette in the Art Deco style and the building's interior has richly decorated vestibules and lobbies featuring marble walls, bronze detailing, and mosaic floors; and

WHEREAS, It was built for the Fuller Construction Company in 1929 after they moved from the Flatiron Building; and

WHEREAS, The building is both an individual and interior landmark; and

WHEREAS, The applicant is proposing to renovate double size bronze doors in the interior lobby that swing into the tenant space; and

WHEREAS, The applicant is proposing to swing the doors outwards and switch the doors from a double door to a single door with sidelights; and

WHEREAS, The building owner is planning to sub-divide the tenant space into 3 spaces with a new tenant taking the middle space; and

WHEREAS, Due to the sub-divided space, building code requires a second means of egress, requiring the lobby doors to swing out for safety; and

WHEREAS, The double doors will be replaced by a single door so that the doors do not conflict with the stairwell doors in the lobby; and

WHEREAS, The applicant is adding an ADA actuator to the door frame for handicap accessibility requirements; and

WHEREAS, Interior landmarks are a rarity in the city and deserve the highest standard of care and review to respect the preservation of the city’s treasured and historical buildings; and

WHEREAS, The removal of the bronze, horizontal push bars and placement of sidelights conflict with the lobby’s symmetrical elements; and

WHEREAS, The applicant’s proposal significantly alters the design of the landmarked lobby; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application for 595 Madison Avenue and urges the applicant to explore a less intrusive design or explore an ability to rework the operation of the doors that swing in a way compatible with code. 

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