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Request For Evaluation (RFE) for interior and exterior landmark designation for the Park Lane Hotel, located at 36 Central Park South

At the regularly scheduled monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, October 09, 2014, the following resolution passed with a vote of: 36 in favor; 0 opposed; 2 abstained.

WHEREAS, East Garden LLC., William Kaplan as its sole member, John Furth Peachy and Mark Mueller have filed a request for evaluation (RFE) to designate the Park Lane Hotel as an interior and exterior landmark; and

WHEREAS, The applicants filed a RFE with the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) on March 31st 2014, and LPC rejected their request on May 7th 2014 but granted that the decision could be reconsidered if new information was provided; and

WHEREAS, The applicants have expanded their research and are now seeking the opinion of Community Board Five; and

WHEREAS, The Park Lane Hotel, is a 46 story building located at 36 Central Park South facing Central Park on a mid-block site between 5th & 6th Avenues; and

WHEREAS, The building was designed by Emery Roth & Sons and constructed between 1967 and 1971 for the prominent NYC developer Harry Helmsley and his real-estate company, Helmsley-Spear, Inc.; and 

WHEREAS, The building is a 46 story slab resting on a raised two story L-shaped base, clad with glass and limestone on the Central Park South and 58th Street facades and face brick at the party walls; and

WHEREAS, The North façade is divided by five bays of windows that run the full vertical height of the building and culminate with rounded arches, and are separated by limestone piers, while the side walls are treated with face bricks; and

WHEREAS, The 58th street base features a porte-cochere, and the building features a courtyard connecting 58th Street to Central Park South; and

WHEREAS, The lobby and second floor rooms, including the restaurant, bar, and ballroom were decorated by interior designer Tom Lee; and

WHEREAS, The central lobby connecting Central Park South to 58th Street feature two varieties of travertine marble on the walls and floor, crystal chandeliers, Scalamandre drapery and Wilton carpets; and

WHEREAS, The second floor restaurant features barrel vaulted ceiling, while Harry's Bar features dark wood finishes; and 

WHEREAS, The building's architecture has been characterized by architecture critics, including Robert A.M. Stern and Paul Goldberger, as well as preservation advocates, such as the Municipal Art Society and the Historic Districts Council, as banal, undistinguished and mediocre; and

WHEREAS, The interior is neither unique nor original; and

WHEREAS, The building does not feature a unique architectural style nor a special historic character; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the Request for Evaluation of the Park Lane Hotel for interior and exterior landmark.

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