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375 Park Avenue, application for a Certificate of Appropriateness for alterations to portions of designated interiors and alter sidewalk canopies to the interior landmark Four Season Restaurant

WHEREAS, 375 Park Avenue, located between 52nd and 53rd Street, was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in the highly acclaimed international style Seagram Building design; and

WHEREAS, The Four Seasons Restaurant Ground Floor and First Floor interiors were designed by Philip Johnson, built 1958-59, praised by architectural critics as among the finest international style interior spaces in the United States and the costliest restaurant ever constructed;

WHEREAS, The Applicant, building owner RFR, wishes to restore several original elements which are showing their age including existing bronze and stainless steel railings, the Marie Nichols designed metal curtains, and smoke stained ceiling panels, working closely with specialized artisans to ensure work is executed to the original standards; and

WHEREAS, Applicant is proposing to undo previous alterations including replacement of non-original beige wainscot paneling at the Pool Room with gray color closer to the original, removal of non-original glass partition up the Grille Room, and replacement of the non-original carpeting throughout; and

WHEREAS, The proposed alterations would allow the restaurant and lobby space to function better, be more energy efficient and provide better accessibility; and

WHEREAS, The Ground Floor Coat Room would be modified using the original bronze frame and infilled with original travertine panels to create larger Coat Room and existing bronze door will be relocated to create an ADA compliant Men's room; and

WHEREAS, Both East 52nd Street and East 53rd street entrance canopies would replace opaque material with translucent material in keeping with adjacent building canopy, and lighting would be slightly modified to remove non-original light fixtures; and

WHEREAS, Incandescent light sources would be replaced with energy efficient LED lighting throughout while maintaining original light fixtures, and 

WHEREAS, The Pool Room's mezzanine level would have a folding partition of matching oak paneling to create a private dining room and the upper oak paneled wall would be reconfigured to be operable to create open connection between the mezzanine and Pool Room and non-original tree planters would add casters; and

WHEREAS, The Pool Room's vestibule wine display would be modified to toilet rooms while maintaining the bronze door frame; and

WHEREAS, The Grill Room would remove non-original fissured glass partition between bar and restaurant and the addition of a removable raised platform at upper mezzanine, and replace non-original leather bar panels, and the Lippold sculpture would be cleaned per New York Landmarks Conservancy specifications, as NYLC owns the sculpture; and

WHEREAS, CB5 had no opportunity to comment, as we would wish, on the decorative elements, as the applicant did not have final carpet color and pattern selected, nor were we able to review the cleaning method of the Lippold sculpture and metal window drapery; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the Certificate of Appropriateness, with the condition that applicant will come back to CB5 with details of the cleaning protocol for the Lippold Sculptures, and with the understanding that applicant will submit a Certificate of Appropriateness for carpet separately and will give CB5 an opportunity to comment.

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