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Application for restoration of existing cast iron façade elements and the addition of a new storefront entry, transom units and canopy over the entryway at 12 West 27th Street (South Side of 27th Street Between Broadway and 6th Avenue)

WHEREAS, 12 West 27th Street, located between 6th Avenue and Broadway in the Madison Square North Historic District, was constructed in 1912-13 as a store and loft building designed by architectural firm Buchman & Fox for owner Charles Kaye; and

WHEREAS, Most of the exterior of the original building remain intact, including original cast iron on one of the entrances; and

WHEREAS, The owner of 12 West 27th Street is seeking approval for an application of a Certificate of Appropriateness for restoration of existing cast iron façade elements and the addition of a new storefront entry, transom units and canopy over the entryway; and

WHEREAS, The freight entrance will be removed and the original cast iron material will be uncovered and moved to create a single building entry; and

WHEREAS, The new entry will no longer be symmetrical with the other bays or the entire streetscape on that block; and

WHEREAS, The applicant proposes to install a metal band/canopy above the new proposed entrance made of stainless steel  with LED lighting, protruding by 2 feet; and

WHEREAS, The symmetry of the ground floor could be kept by including another large show window when the freight entrance is removed matching the symmetry of the eastern side of the building and the historical usage of the show window to highlight the commercial origins/nature of this property; and

WHEREAS, The material and design for the canopy is not contextually appropriate for the Madison Square North Historic district, including the proposed canopy LED lighting; and

WHEREAS, The design of the proposed small transom panes of glass above the new restored entry also do not fit the contextual feel of the building or the district; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial unless the applicant:

(a)  Revises the design for the canopy by using a more contextual material other than the stainless steel and having the style pay homage to the original historic canopy design and the rest of the Madison Square North Historic District;   

(b) Replaces the LED lighting approach with a traditional lighting fixture, and not LED lighting on the letters of the signage band or projecting down as presented;

(c)  Maintains the original location of the restored entry to preserve the symmetry of the façade of the building and replaces the freight entrance with a show window similar to the eastern side of the building so that each of the three bays maintain their original design symmetry of the storefront level.

(d)  Revises the plans for the glass transom panels above the canopy/entry to be one larger pane of glass consistent with the original design of the property, instead of the smaller truncated panes of glass.

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