Three rowhouses to add rear additions

Proposal includes demolition of historic tea rooms. Margaret Streicker applied to Landmarks to alter three adjacent rowhouses on West 22nd Street within the Chelsea Historic District. Streicker proposed to demolish two wood rear porches on the 1851-built pair rowhouses at 327 and 329 West 22nd Street, replacing the porches with four-story additions extending 19 feet from the existing building line and adding one-story rooftop penthouses on each building. On the 1850 Italianate rowhouse at 331 West 22nd Street, the proposal included similar- sized rear and rooftop additions.

Testifying for Community Board 4 at the Landmarks hearing, Ed Kirkland explained that, in rowhouses of this period, it was common to extend the parlor floor into the rear yard with the construction of wooden outdoor porches. These porches, due to the city’s inclement weather, were later enclosed to create tea rooms, which were a common feature, although now few in the city remain. Streicker’s porches, Kirkland stated, were in poor condition and were not visible from the street, reducing their historic value.

Community Board 4 did not oppose the demolition, but remained concerned with the size and height of the rear additions. The Board recommended limiting the additions to three stories to retain the existing buildings’ cornices and reduce the extension of the rear addition to protect the block’s existing green space.

Landmarks approved all three applications after Streicker reduced the height of the additions to three stories, finding that the additions would maintain the scale of the rowhouses and the historic fenestration on the fourth floors. Landmarks noted that the historic tea rooms had been significantly altered.

LPC: 327 West 22nd Street (COFA# 06- 0212) (July 12, 2005); LPC: 329 West 22nd Street (COFA# 06-0217) (July 12, 2005); LPC: 331 West 22nd Street (COFA# 06- 0537) (July 22, 2005). CITYADMIN


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