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225 5th Avenue, (26th & 27th Streets), Madison Square North Historic District, application for façade renovations and tree planting.

WHEREAS, The Brunswick Building, 225 Fifth Avenue, E/S between 26th and 27th Street, is a twelve story beaux arts store, loft and office building, designed by Francis H. Kimball and Harry E. Donnell, Associated Architects, built in 1906-1907 and is located in the Madison Square North Historic District, approved by LPC June 26, 2001.; and

WHEREAS, The building is on the site of the very fashionable Brunswick Hotel which was demolished when this building was constructed; and

WHEREAS, For many years this building was an important office building known as the Gift and Art Center Building or New York Gift Building; and

WHEREAS, In 2006 the building was converted into 195 luxury condominium apartments, now known as the Grand Madison; and

WHEREAS, The Renaissance Revival building is constructed of multi-colored brick laid in a faint striped pattern, ornamented in contrasting limestone with a palazzo composition articulated by a rusticatedtrabeated base and arcaded loggia under an impressive cornice; and

WHEREAS, The present storefronts are not historic and were installed 1938-1981, and the original terra cotta sixth floor balcony was removed 1981; and

WHEREAS, Several corrective changes are proposed for the three storefronts to minimally disturb historic elements of the façade; and 

WHEREAS, On East 27th Street, two existing windows are being restored, moldings are being added to utilitarian-looking doors, and a new sign at the loading dock will replace existing signage; and

WHEREAS, On Fifth Avenue, a circa 1980 marquee is being modified to integrate recessed lighting along with some minor aesthetic changes; two small bronze entry plaques will be added to either side of the main entry; a deteriorated sidewalk medallion is being reconstructed; and two non-historical sconces will be replaced; and

WHEREAS, On East 26th Street, existing service doors dating to the 1960's are being redesigned to be esthetically consistent with the existing stainless steel storefront windows; and

WHEREAS, 18 tree pits are being proposed facing all three street facades and a Neighborhood Tree Survey is being conducted to determine the most appropriate trees to be planted; and

WHEREAS, Although there may be some concern about the historical basis for the 18 trees to be planted, the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership has written a letter to CB5 expressing its full support of this addition as part of the BID's beautification efforts for the area it serves; and

WHEREAS, CB5 recognizes the proximity of the new trees to Madison Square Park, but considers the esthetic and environmental benefits consonant with the Mayor's MillionTreesNYC Initiative; and

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the application for façade work and tree planting at 225 Fifth Avenue, located on the East Side of Fifth Avenue between East 26th and East 27th Streets, in accordance with plans and specifications presented by the Applicant.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 35 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.

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