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200 West 57th Street, application for Certificate of Appropriateness to construct a rooftop addition.

WHEREAS, The owner of the Rodin Studios, an individual landmark at 200 West 57th Street, on the southwest corner of Seventh Avenue and 57th Street (west of Carnegie Hall and south of the Osborne Apartments), is applying for a Certificate of Appropriateness to construct  a rooftop addition; and

WHEREAS, Rodin Studios was named after the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin, designed by the great architect Cass Gilbert, built in 1916-17 in the French Gothic style for artists studios and residential space, and was designated a NYC landmark in 1988; and

WHEREAS, The Rodin Studios in addition to being very historic, also housed many famous people, such as violinist Jascha Heifetz, author Theodor Dreiser, actress Mae West, and actors Jason Robards and Eli Wallach; and

WHEREAS, The 14-story building is faced in polychromatic rough brick and ornamental terra-cotta trim and is currently undergoing a façade restoration; and

WHEREAS, The proposed 15th floor addition is 1,438.1 sf. making the existing 15th floor plus the proposed addition to the 15th floor a total of 5,963.7 sf., and the height approximately 10’; and

WHEREAS, The face of the new 15th floor has the same setbacks as the existing 15th floor and the rear of the proposed 15th floor addition in the southwest corner aligns with the edge of the building below; and

WHEREAS, The proposed 16th floor addition is 5,663.9 sf. and the height approximately 12’; and

WHEREAS, The face of the proposed 16th floor addition aligns with the edge of the 15th floor addition along 57th Street and is 96’-6” in length and is setback 3’-8” from the overall 15th floor along 7th Avenue, and is 68’-5 ¾” in length and the rear of the proposed 16th floor, in the southwest corner, aligns with the edge of the building below; and

WHEREAS, The addition would be made of a darker brick and terra-cotta than in the façade to blend in with a background of dark glass and railings that would be added; and

WHEREAS, The addition is significantly visible from north and south along 7th Avenue, as well as from east and west along 57th Street; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends denial of the rooftop addition because the addition is very visible from a wide distance and would diminish the extraordinary historic quality of this very beautiful landmark.

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