SoHo hotel plan approved

Design revisions addressed previously raised concerns. On June 9, 2009, Landmarks approved renovation plans for 431 Broome Street in the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District making way for its use as a hotel. The applicants, owners of the nearby restaurant L’Orange Bleue, plan to build a four-story building behind the existing federal-style structure, add a penthouse and elevator bulkhead on the existing building, and alter the infill facade. At the initial May 5 hearing, the project faced scrutiny from preservationists, Manhattan Community Board 2, and some commissioners. Objections focused on the height of the planned back building, the prominence of the bulkhead, and the storefront’s out-of-character nature. 6 CityLand 81 (June 15, 2009).

When Landmarks reconvened, its staff presented proposed revisions to the Thomas Tsue design. The owners would reduce the rear building to three stories, remove a security gate and metal doors from the storefront, and restore the infill to its 1926 appearance. The owners would also reduce the size of the elevator bulkhead. Commissioner Margery Perlmutter called the revised proposal “a fantastic project,” and Chair Robert B. Tierney found that back buildings had historic precedent. Commissioner Pablo Vengoechea stated that he was still “uncomfortable” with the rear structure, but nonetheless joined in the unanimous approval of the proposal.

LPC: 431 Broome St., Manhattan (COFA# 08-7774) (June 9, 2009).

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