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46  West 55th Street  – Proposed designation

WHEREAS, On Monday January 7th 2008, concerned members of the public appeared before Community Board Five’s Landmarks Committee seeking support for their effort to designate, as an individual landmark, the townhouse building at 46 West 55th Street, located between Fifth and Sixth Avenues; and

WHEREAS, The building, commissioned by John W. Stevens and Brother and designed by architect Thomas Thomas, is one of a five townhouse development, dating from 1869, and is among the earliest structures on the block; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Thomas was born and trained as an architect in England.  He came to New York as a young man and, with 10 other architects, formed The National Institute of Architecture, the precursor of today’s AIA, the American Institute of Architects.  Thomas also collaborated on the design of St. Peter’s Church from 1836-1840 on Broadway between Barclay and Vesey Streets but most of his work was on private residences for well known people of the period; and

WHEREAS, In 1903 Mr. J.H. Bissell, who owned the house, commissioned renowned architect Edward L. Tilton and his partner to design the classic period brick and limestone Beaux Arts façade that exists today. Tilton is also well known for designing over 100 of the Carnegie Libraries as well as the Main building, the Kitchen & Laundry Buildings, the Main Powerhouse and the Main Hospital on Ellis Island; and

WHEREAS, this neighborhood was a fashionable address for Manhattan’s banking elite and other prominent families; and

WHEREAS, this building is deemed to have significant historical, cultural and architectural importance; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends that the townhouse building at 46 West 55th Street be designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission as an individual landmark.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 30 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.

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