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45 West 21st Street, (Ladies' Mile Historic District) - Application for installation of signage

WHEREAS, 45 West 21st Street, located in the Ladies' Mile Historic District, is a six-story Beaux-Arts store and loft building built in 1902; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant is seeking approval from the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission to install exterior signage; and

WHEREAS, Currently there is no exterior signage on the building; and

WHEREAS, The proposed signage includes a 20 foot by 2 foot painted metal, non-illuminated blade sign on the western corner of the building, and pin-mounted, cast aluminum, LED back-lit letters measuring no greater than 15 inches by 8 feet above the first floor cornice at each of the two commercial entrances; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant has represented that the signage is proposed for two new small retail tenants; and

WHEREAS, Although no signage was present on the building at the time of construction or designation, there is historic precedent for the location of the proposed signage based on photographs of similar signage on the building in the 1940s and 1950s: a similar (but illuminated) blade sign was present in the proposed location in the 1950s, and similar above-the-cornice (non-illuminated) signage was present in the proposed locations on the building in the 1940s; and

WHEREAS, There is an illuminated blade sign of similar size on the building at 57 West 21st Street (two buildings to the west of 45 West 21st Street); and

WHEREAS, Although Community Board Five is concerned that the above-the-cornice signage may extend in front of a portion of four windows on the second floor and would prefer that this signage instead be installed below the cornice, the Applicant has represented that these windows belong to commercial rather than residential tenants, and the plans indicate that only a small portion (less than 15 inches high) at the bottom of the windows may be affected by the pin letters; and

WHEREAS, Although Community Board Five would prefer that all signage on the building be non-illuminated and that the blade sign be smaller, it found the proposed back-lighting of the pin letters and the proposed size of the blade sign  to be appropriate for Ladies' Mile Historic District; and

WHEREAS, The Community Board Five considers the proposed signage to be appropriate for the Ladies Mile Historic District based on historic precedent and similar signage currently found within the Ladies' Mile Historic District; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the proposed signage for 45 West 21st Street in the Ladies' Mile Historic District.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 22 in favor; 9 opposed; 1 abstaining.

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