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Request for Evaluation of Roosevelt Hotel and Postum Building for Landmark designation

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Wednesday, December 09, 2021, the following resolution passed with a vote of 35 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, The Roosevelt Hotel is a 19-story marble and limestone structure built in the renaissance revival style located at 45 East 45th Street occupying an entire city block bound by Madison Avenue, East 45th Street, Vanderbilt Avenue, and East 46th Street. It was constructed by George B. Post & Sons in 1924 and it consists of over 1000 hotel rooms, but permanently closed in December of 2020; and

WHEREAS, The Postum Building is a 21-story masonry and terracotta office building built in the neoclassical design located at 250 Park Avenue occupying an entire city block bound by Park Avenue, East 46th Street, Vanderbilt Avenue, and East 47th Street. It was constructed by famed architects Cross & Cross in 1924; and

WHEREAS, Four main historic preservation groups of NewYork City, City Club, Municipal Art Society, Historic Districts Council, New York Landmarks Conservancy jointly brought this request to CB5 as well as to Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) for consideration; and

WHEREAS, Landmark designation has garnered support from advocacy groups and members of the public who spoke in favor of designation; and

WHEREAS, Property owners, being duly notified, expressed opposition to landmark designation; and

WHEREAS, Both buildings were constructed as part of the Terminal City development in the early 20th Century which was a vision to create a commercial office district above the railyards around Grand Central Terminal, which ultimately led to the complete transformation of Midtown Manhattan becoming a major commercial center; and

WHEREAS, The majority of buildings that were part of the original Terminal City development have been demolished in favor of more modern structures, with The Roosevelt Hotel and The Postum Building as some of the last remaining buildings which are believed to be at great risk; and 

WHEREAS, The exterior of The Roosevelt Hotel remains in excellent original condition, as well as many original interior details including a bronze relief of Theodore Roosevelt, (the hotel's namesake), grand marble columns, ceiling and wall murals, light fixtures, and intricate flooring designs; and

WHEREAS, The Postum Building's exterior is largely in original condition with distinctive terracotta reliefs throughout the building’s façade, and original decorative brickwork and cornices; and

WHEREAS, Time and again Landmark buildings prove to be sought-out by both large and small business leaders as unique and historic settings for their growing businesses, with these buildings remaining profitable to property owners; and

WHEREAS, The impact of the Terminal City development on shaping the design, growth, and importance of Midtown’s future as a commercial center is unmatched and an integral component to the growth of New York City during the early 20th Century; and

WHEREAS, As part of a very small group of remaining buildings from the Terminal City development, in addition to being so well preserved as historically and architecturally significant buildings, Community Board 5 agrees that both The Roosevelt Hotel and The Postum Building are worthy candidates for Landmark designation; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board 5 recommends approval of a Request For Evaluation for The Roosevelt Hotel located at 45 East 45th Street, and the Postum Building located at 250 Park Avenue by Landmarks Preservation Commission for Landmark consideration.

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