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15 East 26th Street, Application for a Certificate of Appropriateness for (Madison Square North Historic District)

WHEREAS, The building at 15 East 26th Street, located within the Madison Square North Historic District, was constructed in 1911-1912 and designed by Maynicke & Franke; and

WHEREAS, The applicant seeks to convert the top twelve floors and roof of an existing 20-story building from offices to residential condominiums, and to create separate residential and commercial entrances; and

WHEREAS, A master plan for the building windows will include replacement of the current one-over-one metal clad wood windows on the north and south facades of floors 9-12 with vinyl-clad wooden frames, replacement of the existing windows on the east and west courtyard facades with one-over-one aluminum windows, painted gray, matching an original color, and removal of all window air conditioning units (central air will be provided); and

WHEREAS, Setbacks at the 16th floor on the north and south facades will be converted to terraces, with new terrace doors at existing window openings by removing the lower sills, invisible from the street; and

WHEREAS, The rooftop penthouse will be rebuilt on the existing footprint and include new glass openings and cladding; three new stair bulkheads will be added (not visible from street) which will extend the footprint of the existing fire stair bulkhead, new guardrails at parapets and opaque fencing to separate private terraces from common rooftop areas will be added, and mechanical equipment will be enclosed by a sound proof barrier; and

WHEREAS, The East 26th Street storefront will be restored, all awnings will be removed which will reveal the original arched openings, and commercial signage will be on glass panes; and

WHEREAS, The center entrance will be for residential tenants, the main corridor to back elevators and the service entrance will be maintained, and the existing commercial tenants (floors 1-8) will remain with a blocked entrance re-established for them; and

WHEREAS, The center entrance with 9 foot double doors will be moved 12 feet back into the building, creating an entry courtyard, with modern materials not matching the original fabric; and

WHEREAS, Two canopies will be installed over each door; and

WHEREAS, The use of modern materials and changes in the central entrance, as well as the addition of roof terraces are inappropriate to the building and the historic district; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Manhattan Community Board Five recommends denial of the Certificate of Appropriateness for 15 East 26th Street.

The above resolution passed with a vote of 21 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstention.

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