Balducci’s to return to Greenwich Village

Landmarked bank to be converted to market. On February 15, 2005, Landmarks unanimously approved the adaptive reuse of the New York Savings Bank, located at West 14th Street and Eighth Avenue, by Balducci’s, a high-end food market that traces its roots to a Greenwich Village fruit and vegetable stand. Constructed in 1896, the marble-facade Classical Revival-styled bank was designated an individual and an interior landmark in 1988. In 1994, it was converted to a large carpet store that remained at the site until December 2004.

Balducci’s proposed to alter the bank’s exterior doors, create grade-level entry doors along the Eighth Avenue side and add handicap access. An interior staircase and vestibule wall, added in 1952, would be removed to restore the interior more closely to its original appearance. No new architectural elements would be introduced into the interior and none of the food display cases or racks would be secured to the interior marble.

At its initial hearing on January 11, 2005, Landmarks objected to the plan to utilize grade-level side entrances. At the February 15th hearing, however, Bill Higgins, Balducci’s preservation consultant, reported that the original building
had a series of steps and side entries along Eighth Avenue that had been removed in 1930. Balducci’s proposed only to reactivate these entries. Balducci’s revised proposal included construction of a series of two steps lining the Eighth Avenue frontage and leading up to the new side entries. A portion of the frontage would remain at grade level to accommodate a handicap entrance.

Landmarks approved the revision, praising Balducci’s for the care taken in its proposal. The permit issuance is pending approval of final plans by Landmarks.

LPC Item No. 7, Case No. 05-2301, New York Savings Bank, 81-83 Eighth Avenue (February 15, 2005)(Todd Shugarman, Balducci’s; Paul Maguire Architectural, Hugh Boyd Architect; Steven B. Rabinoff, Higgins & Quasebarth). CITYADMIN

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.