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201 Park Av. So. AKA 50 Union Sq. E. Application by Beyer Blinder Bland for Rooftop Alterations, to include Deck and Seasonal Structures

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, September 10, 2020, the following resolution passed with a vote of 40 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, The GERMANIA LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY BUILDING, is a 20-story commercial building located at 201 Park Av. So. AKA 50 Union Sq. E. at the North East corner of 17th St. and Park Ave South, and

WHEREAS, Built in 1910-11, for The Germania Life Insurance Company building., the building changed its name to Guardian Life Insurance Co. at the time of World War I, and is has been the home of The W Hotel since 1999-2000; and

WHEREAS, the building roof is surmounted by a very large illuminated neon sign; and

WHEREAS, the building became an individual Landmark in 1988; and

WHEREAS, the architects of the building were Albert D'Oench and Joseph W. Yost, built in the Beaux-Arts style and has been on the US National Register of Historic Places since 2001 and is noted for its four story Mansard Roof; and

WHEREAS, the applicant plans to upgrade the mechanical system, improve the life safety system, and provide guest entry onto the roof, and provide open/enclosed roof space for guests; and

WHEREAS, the applicant plans to confine all work in this application to the flat roof top areas; and

WHEREAS, the applicant plans to reposition and replace most of the existing mechanical equipment and structures on the rooftop, including the generator, HVAC and cooling towers, and add a glass and metal structure for hotel guests, and

WHEREAS, the applicant plans to build a new entry onto the rooftop via stairs and elevator; and    

WHEREAS, the new structure will be a one story metal and glass addition with large retractable portions allowing for an outdoor experience when weather permits; and

WHEREAS, the proposed addition will consist of three inter-connected sections, forming a right angled structure on the roof; and

WHEREAS: the dimensions of each of the sections are:  

WHEREAS: the Proposed materials for this structure will be 1" glass IGU wall panel and translucent polycarbonate ceiling panel with painted aluminum frame (PPG roman bronze )

WHEREAS, none of the alterations or additions will exceed the height of the existing tallest parapet wall to the north east; and

WHEREAS, most of the higher elements have been recessed on to the mid part of the roof top, out of view from the street; and 

WHEREAS, the roof top structure will be very minimally visible from street level while existing mechanical equipment will no longer be visible; and

WHEREAS, the iconic neon sign facing southward on the rooftop will not be affected by any of these alterations, therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the application of rooftop alterations at 201 Park Avenue South, aka 51 East 17th Street.

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