2-story building demo approved

Landmarks found extensive alterations rendered the building noncontributing to district. On September 16, 2008, Landmarks voted to approve the demolition of a two-story building at 501-501A Hudson Street in the Greenwich Village Historic District, along with the proposed replacement, a six-story commercial and residential building designed by Morris Adjmi. At the July 15 public hearing, residents, preservationists, and elected officials expressed opposition to both the demolition of the existing building and the scale and design of the proposed building. 5 CityLand 108 (Aug. 15, 2008).

In response to input from the Commission and community, the applicant reduced the size of the penthouse and changed much of the glass facade to brick. Also, the penthouse was set back further from the street, and the space between the terra-cotta baguettes that pattern the facade was tightened. Adjmi presented examples of similar-sized buildings on corner lots in the area, while architectural historian Bill Higgins of Higgins and Quasebarth testified to the existing building’s extensive alterations and resulting lack of original fabric from the initial 1854 structure.

Landmarks reacted positively to the revised proposal. Commissioner Roberta Brandes Gratz stated that the current structure had been “worked over to such a degree that replacement is appropriate,” a sentiment echoed by other Commissioners. Commissioner Libby Ryan found the proposal “an interesting use of material,” but objected to the presence of a penthouse. Only Commissioner Fred Bland, who found the design “very inventive and generally appropriate,” stated that the penthouse added to the design. Landmarks voted unanimously to approve the project, provided the penthouse was removed.

LPC: 501-501A Hudson Street, Manhattan (COFA# 08-8340) (Sept. 16, 2008). CITYADMIN

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