<< Back


The University Club, 1 West 54th Street, application for rooftop addition.

At the scheduled monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, December 12, 2013, the Board passed the following resolution by a vote of 34 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, The University Club, located at the northwest corner of West 54th Street and Fifth Avenue, designed by architects McKim, Mead & White, constructed in 1897-99, designated as an individual landmark in 1967, resembles a 16th Century Italian Renaissance palazzo, and according to the designation report is "one of the handsomest buildings on Fifth Avenue"; and

WHEREAS, The University Club has submitted an application which requests permission to modify an existing rooftop addition, a structure that has been in place since the 1920's, which houses squash courts; and

WHEREAS, As these currently exist, the doubles squash courts, which are located near the Fifth Avenue side of the building, are not tall enough for international regulation play, and in order for the club to continue to host sanctioned tournaments, the applicant has proposed to raise the roof of this structure by 6'-0"; and

WHEREAS, A mock-up of the proposed modification has been installed on site, and this does indicate there would be limited visibility of the increased rooftop structure height, from the east side of Fifth Avenue, and from points south; and

WHEREAS, In order to blend into the building, and its surrounding neighbors, the existing rooftop structure is has a beige stucco façade, and the proposed extension would have the same finish; and

WHEREAS, The proposed 6'-0" increase in rooftop height would sit below the lot line windows of the Peninsula Hotel which is adjacent to the north; and

WHEREAS, The applicant appeared in front of CB5 in 2007, to propose a minimally visible rooftop addition to enlarge the squash courts and CB5 voted unanimously to approve the application, and

WHEREAS, The proposed modification would be minimally visible but would not cause a visual distraction that would negatively impact either this landmark building or any of its neighboring buildings, and would help to ensure that The University Club remains a world class destination for sanctioned squash tournaments; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends approval of the application seeking permission to modify the existing rooftop addition at 1 West 54th Street and 5th Avenue.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter