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230 Park Avenue, (the former Helmsley Building and the former New York Central Building) application for East and West Helmsley Walks restoration

At the scheduled monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, February 14, 2013, the Board passed the following resolution by a vote of 27 in favor; 4 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, 230 Park Avenue (between East 45th and East 46th Streets), formerly known as the New York Central Building, then known as the New York General Building, more recently known as the Helmsley Building, has been an individual NYC Landmark since its designation March 31, 1987, designed by Warren and Wetmore as part of the complex of buildings surrounding Grand Central Station, also designed by these same architects; and

WHEREAS, Built in 1929 as the luxurious headquarters for the New York Central Railroad, 230 Park Avenue is a 34-story office building strategically straddling Park Avenue at East 46th Street to East 45th Street, offering a premier location as a direct connection to Grand Central Terminal; and

WHEREAS, The East and West Helmsley Walks are two public walkways through the building between East 45th and 46th Streets, adjacent to the tunnels for the Park Avenue viaduct ramps; and

WHEREAS, The owners of the building are requesting approval of a restoration of the East and West Helmsley Walks; and

WHEREAS, This resolution addresses the following six elements of the application:

·         Adding one decorative pendant light, approximately 7feet high with 2 ft, 10 inch diameter, at the northern end of each walkway (2 pendant lights total);

·         Providing a ceiling infill (lowering the ceilings by approximately 8-9 inches) with decorative moldings and lighting upgrade (21 new fixtures in each walkway, 42 total) at the southern end of the walkways;

·         Unifying the appearance of a total of six egress doors, frames and hardware by replicating the original, historic door design;

·         Replacing an existing standard aluminum louver with a decorative bronze louver similar to others existing in the walkways;

·         Improving lighting in the higher ceiling main portion of the walkways with more energy efficient light fixtures, which will provide significantly more light in the walkways without changing the visual appearance of these fixtures; and

·         Adding bronze relief medallions (a replication of the New York Central's logo which can be seen in the building's landmarked interior lobby and the north façade above the arched entryways to the vehicular tunnels) in the concrete at the north and south end of each walkway (4 medallions total); and

WHEREAS, The application also contains a seventh element, the installation of LCD screens, which is addressed by Community Board Five in a separate resolution; and

WHEREAS, The owners will also clean the stone walls and concrete floors and make repairs throughout the walkways; and

WHEREAS, The materials and finishes to be used in the restoration would mimic the original historic elements present in the walkways and adjacent spaces in order to create unity and consistency; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five finds the above six elements of the restoration to be appropriate for and harmonious with the historic fabric of the building; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the above six elements of the restoration of the East and West Helmsley Walks at 230 Park Avenue.

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