5 West 54th Street (bet. 5th Ave and Ave. of the Americas), the building applying to legalize the existing flagpoles.WHEREAS, An application has been submitted which requests permission to legalize two flagpoles that have been installed on the façade of 5 West 54th Street, which is an individual landmark; and
WHEREAS, According to The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission's February 3, 1981 Designation Report:
"This handsome, meticulously detailed town house was built in 1897-99 for Dr. Moses Allen Starr, one of America's leading neurologists. Design in the neo-Renaissance style using principals of Beaux Arts composition by the noted architect Robert H. Robertson, the building is a distinguished example of the elegant residential architecture that once characterized the West Fifties between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and is one of an ensemble of five town houses on West 54th Street."; and
WHEREAS, Unlike most of the remaining town houses found in the West Fifties, 5 West 54th Street has not ever been altered to accommodate commercial retail usage, a post-World War I trend, and having been spared such usage, its masonry façade details have been preserved and maintained in pristine condition; and
WHEREAS, The two flagpoles that that are located between the second and third floors were installed after the building had been designated as an individual landmark at an indefinite date in either the late 1980's or the early 1990's; and
WHEREAS, Several of the adjacent landmark buildings do have existing flagpoles and banners, however because the two flagpoles at 5 West 54th Street were installed without the prior consent from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, these are deemed as a violation of the buildings landmark status; and
WHEREAS, There is a possibility that removal of the flagpoles that have penetrated the façade masonry for approximately two decades would damage the historic building fabric in a way that may be challenging to repair; and
WHEREAS, The scale of the flagpoles and banners seems small and innocuous, and do not negatively obscure details of the masonry façade; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That although we would have preferred that the building owners would have sought the Landmarks Preservation Commission's permission prior to performing work on the designated landmark, Community Board Five recommends approval of the application to legalize two flagpoles that have been installed in the façade of 5 West 54th Street.
The above resolution passed by a vote of 39 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.