230 Park Avenue (Part 2): Application for alterations to the East Helmsley Walk and the West Helmsley Walk pedestrian walkways.
WHEREAS, 230 Park Avenue is an Art Deco tower known as The Helmsley Building, formerly the New York Central Building, and was built by Warren & Wetmore in 1929 and designated a Landmark in 1987; and
WHEREAS, The building is thirty-five stories high and bound by Vanderbilt Avenue on the west, East 46th Street on the north, Depew Place on the east, East 45th Street on the south, and contains the pass-through for the Park Avenue viaduct; and
WHEREAS, 230 Park Avenue contains two pedestrian walk-ways called the West Helmsley Walk and the East Helmsley Walk, both of which contain advertising panels, retail shops, and bronze sidewalk-inlays depicting the letters "N," "Y" and "C" (New York Central); and
WHEREAS, The applicant proposes to modify specific storefront exteriors within each pedestrian walkway to match the configuration of historic infill with in-kind materials (limestone); and
WHEREAS, The applicant proposes to remove five existing non historic advertising panels in each walkway to replace them with five similarly-sized LED panels in the same location; and
WHEREAS, The applicant proposes to remove the existing LED advertising panels at the south end of each pedestrian walkway and replace them with larger LED advertising panels; and
WHEREAS, The applicant proposes to remove all non-historic overhead lighting in each pedestrian walkway to replace them with a new back-lit glass panel system; and
WHEREAS, The applicant proposes to remove the bronze sidewalk-inlays in each pedestrian walkway depicting the letters "N," "Y" and "C" (New York Central); and
WHEREAS, It should be noted that Community Board Five did not approve the two existing LED advertising panels in 2013 for each of the south exits, and currently feels that the proposed LED advertising signage in each of the pedestrian walkways, for both the existing static signage on the walls and the replacement of the current LED signage, is too bright and too vivid in a building of such elegant and ornate history; and
WHEREAS, Although Community Board Five finds that the proposals to the retail shop facades within each pedestrian walkway will be historically contextual in materials and profile, and the overhead lighting proposal is a much needed update, the overall treatment is too dull, generic and unadorned; and
WHEREAS, The bronze sidewalk-inlays in each pedestrian walkway depicting the letters "N," "Y" and "C" although not original are historically contextual to the original owners and fabric of Terminal City that once existed in this area and should not be removed; therefore be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of this application for alterations to the East Helmsley Walk and the West Helmsley Walk pedestrian walkways.