40 West 23rd Street, Certificate of Appropriateness application to install banners and flagpoles on exterior of the building (Ladies’ Mile Historic District)WHEREAS, 40 West 23rd Street is a Commercial Palace-style store building designed by Henry Fernback, Hugo Kafka and William Schickel & Co built between 1878-92; and
WHEREAS, This great white cast-iron former flagship store of Stern Brothers on West 23rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in the Ladies' Mile Historic District, which closed in 2001, was the largest department store in New York until 1910; and
WHEREAS, The applicant, Ecko Complex LLC, clothing designer and major tenant in the building, has applied to install eight poles and four stretch banners (two poles to a banner), held in place on top and bottom and placed between the 3rd and 4th floors; and
WHEREAS, The ground floor Home Depot store already has banners; and
WHEREAS, Historic photos of 40 West 23rd Street show that the store flew its banner from a flagpole on its rooftop as did most of the Commercial Palaces during that period; and
WHEREAS, The present owners, who purchased the building in 1968, have done a careful restoration of the building's cast-iron façade and might wish to keep the banner historically correct; therefore be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application for four banners on the 3rd and 4th floors and suggests instead that the banner be placed on the rooftop as was done in the 1880's, which the applicant's representative stated might be amenable to the applicant.The above resolution passed with a vote of 25 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstention.