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Parks & Public Spaces

Application by 200 Park LP for a Distinctive Sidewalk at 200 Park Avenue, also known as the MetLife Building

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, June 13, 2019, the following resolution passed with a vote of 40 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, Tishman Speyer has proposed a Distinctive Sidewalk at 200 Park Avenue, also known as the MetLife Building; and

WHEREAS, 200 Park Avenue occupies approximately one-half of the super block shared with Grand Central Terminal between E 42th and E 45th streets, and between Vanderbilt and Park Avenues; and as such, it occupies a prominent position centered on the axis of Park Avenue to the north and south and among major New York City destinations; and

WHEREAS, The building was completed in 1963, and was originally known as the Pan American Building until ownership changed to MetLife in 1980; an iconic building with a pre-cast concrete and glass tower and podium façade sitting on top of a three-story high predominantly glass base and colonnades that interface with the pedestrians and surrounding neighborhood; and

WHEREAS, The existing sidewalks surrounding 200 Park Avenue were originally designed as part of the original architectural composition and have been repaired or replaced extensively throughout the building’s lifetime, with the most recent renovation in 2006 reconstituting the terrazzo pavement between the building facade and the existing DOT steel-faced curb; and

WHEREAS, According to the architect working on the application, the current distinctive sidewalk is not the original sidewalk, and is not the design of Walter Gropius, the original architect; and

WHEREAS, The proposed ground plane along Vanderbilt Avenue and E 45th Street is conceived as a monolithic civic plinth of Impala Grey Granite, with the scale of the stone flags corresponding to and aligning with the interior lobby pavement; and

WHEREAS, The proposed material will be a significant improvement in improving safety of pedestrians, as the current treatment results in slippery surfaces and injuries when there is precipitation; and

WHEREAS, The granite pavement is proposed to extend to the curb line from the building, with the curb itself to be upgraded to a 12” width in the same Impala Grey Granite; existing drainage patterns are to be largely maintained, but enhanced to improve surface flow of water and eliminate any potential for standing water and maintain ADA-compliance in the right-of-way sidewalks; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of an application by 200 Park LP for a
Distinctive Sidewalk at 200 Park Avenue, also known as the MetLife Building.

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