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670 Sixth Avenue (Ladies’ Mile Historic District) on the southeast corner of 21st Street & Sixth Avenue.  Application is to reclad the façade

WHEREAS, The building at 670 Sixth Avenue was originally two row houses built in the 1850’s, altered in the 1880’s and again in 1946-47, and subsequently combined in 1962 with a glass façade; and

WHEREAS, The applicant, the Bank of America, plans to remove the glass façade and put a new skin on the steel structure, and

WHEREAS, Beige painted aluminum will surround large glass windows with horizontal reveals cut into the limestone, which go across the top of the building and granite bulkheads under the windows; and

WHEREAS, Proposed signage on both sides of the building on 6th avenue and on 21st street will consist of box letters across the top of the building reading “Bank of America”, using neon and/or LED lighting both of which are not permitted in the historic district; and

 WHEREAS, A new  painted  aluminum canopy will be installed on 6th Avenue,  the primary entrance, mimicking a smaller canopy on 21st Street, with letters mounted on the canopy; and

WHEREAS, Considering the size of the building in relation to surrounding historic buildings,  the proposed changes appear inappropriate to the historic district, making it too transparent and conspicuous for its size; and

WHEREAS, The Board suggested the applicant make changes to the original proposal, including lowering the cornice, using smaller signage that is pin mounted with back lighting rather than neon or LED, and to make the aluminum and bulkhead darker to break up the stark look, making it more appropriate with the Historic District; and

WHEREAS, The applicant should be commended for returning to the Board having adapted the original proposal incorporating the suggested changes; and 

WHEREAS, Because the building was built for the Glaziers Union in l962-63, it has also been suggested that the Bank of America simply restore the building to its original 1962 appearance, restoring what is considered by some to be an historic building; therefore be it

RESOLVED that Community Board Five recommends approval of application to reclad the façade at 670 Sixth Avenue located within the Ladies’ Mile Historic District.

The above resolution passed with a vote of 23 in favor, 2 opposed, 1 abstention.  

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