Modern 9-story residential building approved for SoHo

Residential and retail building to replace parking lot on Wooster Street. Landmarks approved the construction of a modern eight-story- plus-penthouse glass building within the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District, replacing a surface parking lot on the southwest corner of Wooster and Grand Streets. Designed by Henry Smith-Miller of Smith-Miller + Hawkinson, the building will be eight stories along Grand Street, clad by a glass curtain wall, and will wrap around the intersection with Wooster Street. The building will step down to a one-story extension along Wooster Street, containing retail space and a parking garage entrance.

Adjacent neighbors and Community Board 2 opposed the project, arguing that its scale would impinge on light and air to the small neighboring buildings along Wooster Street. At its initial hearing, several commissioners noted their support of the scale, massing and materials, but suggested that more layering be incorporated into the design. A revised design was submitted that slightly reduced the height and replaced the masonry along the Wooster Street facade with a glass screen wall.

Calling it a “striking piece of modern architecture,” Landmarks voted 8-1 to approve the design with Commissioner Stephen Byrns remaining opposed. Landmarks found that development on the empty lot would provide a needed termination to the block and called the proposal to curve the glass facade at the Wooster and Grand Streets intersection reminiscent of the use of cast iron cladding on corner buildings. Landmarks found the scale to be in conformity with adjacent buildings and the patterned use of glass and metal recalled historic loft buildings.

LPC: 27 Wooster Street (COFA# 06-8018) (May 15, 2006) (Jay Segal, Greenberg Traurig; Henry Smith-Miller, Smith-Miller + Hawkinson, for applicant). CITYADMIN

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