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390 Park Avenue, aka: Lever House, Application to alter main plaza, 3rd Floor, and 4th Floor

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, July 08, 2021, the following resolution passed with a vote of 26 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, Lever House is an office building located at 390 Park Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets, built in the International Style in 1952 by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill as one of the early curtain-wall skyscrapers in New York City; and

WHEREAS, It stands at 307 feet tall (24-stories) with a glass and steel vertical base rising above a horizontal slab, which is elevated by set-back columns allowing it to appear “floating” over the plaza at street level, and tt was designated a NYC Landmark in 1982; and

WHEREAS, The bulk of the plaza level is open to the public, with some open-air gardens, and various limestone and glass enclosed commercial and lobby areas; and

WHEREAS, The applicant is proposing several changes which include:








WHEREAS, The repair and replacement of portions of the plaza terrazzo floor and ceiling with in-kind materials, as well as new lighting and furniture are all acceptable changes to be deemed original upon completion; and

WHEREAS, The 3rd floor paver replacement to a paver shape that is more closely related to the originally designed flooring plan (although proposed to be gray in color versus red), the handrail addition, and ‘fritted’ glass are also deemed acceptable changes; and

WHEREAS, The additional signage on the commercial spaces and lobby appear to be more numerous than desired, but the Committee understands the need for commercial buildings to remain attractive and relevant within our district; and

WHEREAS, The original black limestone walls serves as an intentional backdrop to further accentuate the depth of the plaza as well as the “floating” slab and is in color contrast to the stainless steel columns, and removal of original limestone for two large openings into the commercial space at the plaza level is mutilating and detracts from the original intent; and           -

WHEREAS, The addition of a 4th floor raised terrace with a visible steel and wire handrail detracts from the purity and simplicity of the minimalist design of the building; Therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application for alteration of 390 Park Avenue aka Lever House.

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