Six-story building on Lafayette Street proposed

Apartment building would replace 1930s one-story garage. On August 9, 2011, Landmarks considered a proposal to replace a one-story garage with a six-story apartment building on a corner lot at 372 Lafayette Street in the NoHo Historic District. Landmarks in 2005 approved the demolition of the 1930s garage building and the construction of a six-story building on the site. The project was never developed and the property changed ownership.

The new project, designed by architect Morris Adjmi, would be similar in shape and bulk to the previously approved proposal. The six-story building would be divided into a base, a middle, and a top, with each section accentuated by a heavier cornice line. The visible facades along Lafayette and Great Jones Streets would feature aluminum panels and concave columns. The building’s rear facade would be clad in gray brick. The 100-foot long facade along Lafayette Street would include fourteen window bays, while the shorter Great Jones Street facade would include three bays. The building’s sixth floor penthouse would be setback from Great Jones and Lafayette Streets, and a frame of columns and lintels would enclose the terrace around the penthouse. 

Manhattan Community Board 2’s Jane McCarthy testified in support of the project. However, the Historic Districts Council’s Nadezhda Williams stated that the project lacked detail and did not relate to the surrounding district, which features masonry and painted castiron buildings.

The Commissioners generally found the proposal’s scale appropriate, but its design inadequate for the district. Vice Chair Pablo Vengoechea stated that the design was “almost too simple,” and that the window pattern on the Lafayette Street facade was “relentless.” Commissioner Margery Perlmutter suggested looking at other nearby corner lot buildings when considering design revisions. Commissioner Joan Gerner suggested that the frame at the top of the building should be manipulated to emphasize more of the cornice. Chair Robert B. Tierney stated that the project had a “framework of appropriateness,” and asked the applicant to return to Landmarks with a revised design.

LPC: 372 Lafayette Street, Manhattan (11-1698) (Aug. 9, 2011) (Architect: Morris Adjmi Architects).

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