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1564-1566 Broadway (bet. 47th and 48th Streets), Palace Theater, application for certificate of appropriateness for the redevelopment of the interior landmark theater

WHEREAS, Applicant is applying for a Certificate of Appropriateness to alter and relocate the interior of the Palace Theater, an individual landmark; and

WHEREAS, The Palace Theater, located at 1564-1566 Broadway, in Times Square Theater District, on the east side of Seventh Avenue at the corner of 47th, is a one of Broadway's most famous and largest theaters, built in 1912-13 and designed by Kirchhoff & Rose Architects; and

WHEREAS, It was designated as an interior Landmark in July 1987; and

WHEREAS, The interior landmark consists of the auditorium, the stage, the first floor balcony interiors consisting of the first balcony, the upper part of the auditorium, the second balcony interiors consisting of the second balcony, upper part of the auditorium and ceiling; and

WHEREAS, The fixtures and interior components of the spaces including wall and ceiling surfaces, doors, stair railings, attached decorative elements are part of the landmarked interior; and

WHEREAS, The Palace Theater interior survives today as one of the historic theater interiors that symbolizes American theater for both New York and for the nation; and

WHEREAS, It is among the oldest theaters surviving in NYC; built for producer Martin Beck as a vaudeville theater, and representing a unique aspect of the city and the nation's theatrical history; and

WHEREAS, The Palace interior is an extravagant baroque design incorporating high relief ornamental plaster work, double balcony auditorium with multiple boxes and loges on three levels, unusually high and wide proscenium arch, large stage and promenade areas, reflecting lavish productions; and

WHEREAS, The palatial 1743 seat auditorium is an extravagantly adorned legacy of its vaudeville history, and continues to provide a plush setting for the productions now presented there; and

WHEREAS, In the early 1990's the building in which the Palace sits underwent a major renovation to a 40-story hotel above the theatre, and now the building is being redeveloped with four stories of retail below the theater and three levels of entertainment pre-function space adjacent to the theater and entertainment above; and

WHEREAS, The existing theater will be restored and raised 28 feet above its current location via structural engineering consisting of jacking up the theater with temporary shoring, columns & supports creating a protective crate around the theater; and

WHEREAS, The proposed alteration would create approximately an additional 10,000 square feet of theater space & support stage space, including 13 additional seats, accessible seating, additional ADA compliant restrooms, a new 19' x 30' entrance sequence on West 47th Street with a new marquee, which will have a grand presence on the street; and

WHEREAS, The non-original lighting booth will be removed, new egress stairs will be built, non-original egress doors will be removed, some original marble banisters will be removed to create access to the exit; and

WHEREAS, A new chandelier to match the historically original will be installed, existing lighting will be restored, recessed 1970-1980's down lights will removed, non-original exit doors will be replaced with wood paneled doors to match original; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five urges theater and developer to salvage and properly store original fabric; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five applauds the restorative work to the theater, and requests that the applicant return when a schematic design of the entrance is developed and encourages historic reference to recall the original Broadway entrance in the design implementation; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the application for a Certificate of Appropriateness to relocate and alter the theater interior at 1564-1566 Broadway.

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