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703 Fifth Avenue, application to install storefront infill.

WHEREAS, The owner of 703 Fifth Avenue, the St. Regis Hotel, has applied for a Certificate of Appropriateness to install new storefront infill at this designated individual landmark; and

WHEREAS, The proposal is to alter signage, change window glass and replace entrance doors on the Fifth Avenue side of the building where the DeBeers retail store is located; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five approved the existing design March 11, 2004 when DeBeers became the tenant after Louis Vuitton vacated the space; and

WHEREAS, The proposed design is harmonious with the appearance of the landmarked building, so that there will be a consistent appearance; and

WHEREAS, The double entrance doors will be replaced with a single glass entrance door, easier to operate, and coordinated with an all-glass small vestibule inside the store to eliminate a wind-tunnel affect when the door opens, also providing better visibility into the store; and

WHEREAS, The DeBeers logo above the door will be removed and the limestone will be repaired where the logo was affixed and the DeBeers name in polished steel will be placed in the glass above the door, thereby further providing consistency with the DeBeers name above each of the two adjacent bays; and

WHEREAS, The signature DeBeers etched glass in the two bays will be replaced by clear glass permitting greater visibility into the store; and

WHEREAS, The resulting storefront will be of minimalist style with a glass front containing signage that is within the maximum size allowed; and

WHEREAS, The choice of materials is similar to the existing materials with the exception of the narrow polished steel band used to frame the new  entrance door instead of a more unobtrusive framing material; and

WHEREAS, The original character of the building has been compromised over the years and this proposal, although not in keeping with the original exterior design of the building, does not further detract from that character since it is consistent with the neighboring storefront designs; and

WHEREAS, The proposed design is similar to other Fifth Avenue boutiques in the surrounding area; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That, with the exception of the narrow polished steel frame around the new entrance door, Community Board Five recommends approval of the Certificate of Appropriateness for new storefront infill at 703 Fifth Avenue.

 The above resolution passed by a vote of 27 in favor; 0 opposed; 2 abstaining.

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