Landmarks Approves Revised Plans for Commercial Building in SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District

Revised Design of 430 West Broadway. Image Credit: LPC/ Morris Adjmi Architects

The revised plans were inspired by the cast-iron elements of the surrounding buildings in the district. On February 19, 2019, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to approve a Certificate of Appropriateness for the proposed demolition of a three-story commercial building and construction of a new six-story building at 430 West Broadway in the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District. The new building will have retail space at its base and a community facility and offices on the floors above. Morris Adjmi Architects presented the revised plans for the building.

The original proposal was presented to the Landmarks Preservation Commission at a hearing on June 12, 2018. The Commission expressed a consensus to support the proposal but had concerns on certain aspects of the new building’s design. Specifically, the Commissioners were concerned that the building too tall in relation to the context of the streetscape and the rest of the adjacent buildings. Commissioner Adi Shamir-Baron stated that the penthouse story should be eliminated. Commissioners were also concerned about the façade of the building, specifically the relationship of the aluminum storefront to the rest of the building, the design of the windows, and the color palette of the materials of the proposed building design in relation to the color palette of the surrounding buildings.

Comparison between old design and revised design.
Image Credit: LPC/Morris Adjmi Architects

At the February 19, 2019 hearing, Architect Morris Adjmi presented revised plans to address the concerns that Commissioners previously had and to make the building more comfortable in sight and more appropriate for the surroundings of the historic district. Under the new plans, the penthouse has been reduced in size and has been set back to minimize visibility. Adjmi also reduced the elevated mechanical bulkhead of the building by six feet and took out six inches from their top floor which reduced the overall building height by two feet. The building’s water tower located on the roof of the building was also moved because of the penthouse’s reduction. These changes allow for the overall height of the building to be reduced and for the rooftop to be more consistent with the surrounding buildings.

Adjmi designed and organized the façade of the building and its elements around inspiration from cast iron buildings, particularly the post and lintel components as found in other buildings in the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District, such as the Singer Building and 446 Broadway. In the revised proposal, Adjmi used a prefinished, bent reddish-brown metal cladding façade instead of the originally proposed gray San Anselmo brick cavity façade.

Adjmi also made changes to the materiality and the proportions of the windows by setting back the windows and their frames 16 inches from the façade. The windows will be framed in gray perforated metal pattern panels inspired by the bulb light designs found in the design of other buildings in the district. The new building will also have a metal panel cornice.

The building’s storefront was redesigned to be more cohesive with the design of the entire building. A 20-inch high bulkhead with perforated cast zinc panels was added at the base of the building’s storefront glass to match the window screens. The storefront will feature the same reddish-brown metal cladding as the rest of the building.

Landmarks unanimously voted to approve the new design stating that the applicants were responsive to all of the prior concerns. Landmarks found that the height of the proposed building will be consistent with the variety of heights of surrounding buildings, within the streetscape. Landmarks also found that the application of the cast iron elements on the façade and the depths of the building now provide the articulation found in the historic buildings of the district.

LPC: 430 West Broadway, Manhattan (LPC-19-24580) (February 19, 2019) (Architects: Morris Adjmi Architects).


By: May Vutrapongvatana (May is a CityLaw Intern and a New York Law School Student, Class of 2019).


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