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32 West 40th Street (Engineer's Club) - Proposed Landmark Designation

WHEREAS, 32 West 40th Street (Engineer's Club), between 5th and 6th Avenues, designed by the architectural firm, Whitfield and King and built in 1906, has been proposed for designation as an individual NYC Landmark; and

WHEREAS, Henry D. Whitfield, the principal architect, was the brother of Andrew Carnegie's wife, Louise, and Carnegie donated $450,000 for 50% of the $900,000 construction cost of the 11-story building; and

WHEREAS, Mark Twain was the speaker at the building's dedication dinner in 1907 honoring Carnegie as its benefactor; and

WHEREAS, The  limestone and brick Georgian and Renaissance Revival building faces Bryant Park and has giant Corinthian pilasters appropriate in scale for the New York Public Library across the street and was renamed "The Columns" by the developer who converted it into 44 cooperative apartments in 1979; and

WHEREAS, The building has a rusticated one-story base, a two-story stone face above which the building's shaft is red brick with jagged stone quoins and has arched windows on the first, third and eleventh floors plus an impressive cornice and stone window surrounds; and

WHEREAS, The building once contained various meeting rooms, 66 bedrooms and a luxurious 300-seat dining room on the eleventh floor; and

WHEREAS, 32 West 40th Street (Engineer's Club) is an early example of the high-rise clubhouse building type, similar in many ways to the recently-designated Yale Club of New York City; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends that 32 West 40th Street (Engineer's Club) be designated as an Individual New York City Landmark.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 32 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.

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