Addition to Battery Maritime Building modified

Proposed three-story and penthouse addition reduced by two stories. On July 27, 2010, Landmarks approved the City’s Economic Development Corporation and the Dermot Company’s application to reduce a previously approved rooftop addition for the landmarked Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street along Lower Manhattan’s waterfront. The original proposal called for a three-story glass addition plus a penthouse. It was approved by Landmarks in February 2008 and the City Council in March 2009. 6 CityLand 37 (April 15, 2009).

EDC has already spent $60 million renovating the 1909-built structure, which was once part of the Whitehall Ferry Terminal. In 2007, EDC selected Dermot to undertake the redevelopment of the site. The redeveloped building would feature a hotel, bar, and restaurant, with additional portions of the original structure open to the public. According to EDC, the site would “provide a gateway” to the newly acquired Governors Island.

At Landmarks July hearing, EDC’s Kyle Kimball pointed out that the recent improvement in financing markets had created an opportunity to move forward with a scaled-down proposal. Kimball noted that the City had already spent $60 million on building renovations and had attracted $80 million in private capital to complete the redevelopment project.

Consultant Bill Higgins, of Higgins, Quasebarth & Partners, testified that the new proposal included renovating an existing 1950sera metal-clad addition and building a one-story glass addition plus a penthouse. The addition would be 21 feet shorter than the original proposal and feature a smaller hotel, restaurant, and bar. Higgins said the reduced addition brought the project into closer alignment with the nearby Staten Island Ferry Terminal’s addition.

Jonathan Marvel, from Rogers Marvel Architects, explained that the glass addition would stretch across the majority of the building, creating a continuous backdrop for the restored cupolas facing the water. Marvel explained the use of glass for the addition, saying it separated “the old from the new.”

The Commissioners greeted the revised proposal enthusiastically, with Commissioner Joan Gerner remarking that it would “bring the building back to life.” Commissioner Margery Perlmutter noted that she opposed the original addition, but supported the reduced proposal. Commissioner Libby Ryan agreed that the changes made the revised proposal easier to accept, and Chair Robert B. Tierney characterized the revisions as being “a fortunate change.”

Landmarks voted unanimously to approve the modified plan.

LPC: Battery Maritime Building, 10 South Street, Manhattan (11-0847) (July 27, 2010) (Architects: Rogers Marvel Architects).

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