895 Broadway – Application for a master plan for a painted wall sign.
WHEREAS, 895 Broadway is located between East 19th Street and East 20th Street, with 25 feet of frontage on 20th Street, within the Ladies' Mile Historic District; and
WHEREAS, This five-story L-shaped commercial building was originally part of the Lord & Taylor Department Store, a Second Empire commercial palace designed by James H. Giles in 1869-70; and
WHEREAS, In 1914, the building was altered for use as a store and loft building by architect John H. Duncan, and received a neo-Renaissance limestone front on Broadway that is characteristic of the later development phase of the district; and
WHEREAS, The building's 105 foot wide western elevation, a secondary façade which was formerly connected to the now demolished store at 6-8 East 20th Street, is visible from East 20th Street and is faced with brick with no applied decoration; and
WHEREAS, The applicant has proposed a master plan for advertising signage to be installed on the building's western elevation in compliance with the underlying manufacturing district zoning regulations; and
WHEREAS, The proposed signage would be 32' 9" high by 18' wide with an area of 589.5 square feet, totaling 11.1% of the surface area of the western façade; and
WHEREAS, The proposed signage would be hand-painted on the brick façade and could change as often as every few months; and
WHEREA, The master plan would limit the colors and image coverage of the proposed signage, with different criteria for photorealistic and graphic/illustrative signs; and
WHEREAS, The proposed signage would not be illuminated; and
WHEREAS, Although the applicant provided an example of a current painted wall sign in the Ladies' Mile Historic District (at 149 Fifth Avenue), the Landmarks Preservation Commission has noted (in a recent permit for other work at that property) that the sign is a grandfathered condition; and
WHEREAS, Community Board Five has not previously approved advertising signage within the Ladies' Mile Historic District and finds such signage inappropriate; and
WHEREAS, Community Board Five is concerned about the potential for proliferation of advertising signage within the Ladies' Mile Historic District if any such signage is approved; therefore be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application for a master plan for a painted wall sign at 895 Broadway.