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45 Rockefeller Plaza: A Certificate of Appropriatenes

WHEREAS, 45 Rockefeller Plaza is requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness to enclose an open arcade at the top of the building with glazing, to move mechanical equipment from its existing location within the open arcade to the roof, and to create usable outdoor spaces at the north and south set-back terraces; and

WHEREAS, 45 Rockefeller Plaza, also known as The International Building, is one of 19 buildings that occupy 22 acres of the larger Rockefeller Center built during the Great Depression by John D. Rockefeller Jr.; and

WHEREAS, 45 Rockefeller Plaza is a 512-foot, 41-story building located on the west side of Fifth Avenue between West 50th and 51st Streets and was designated a NYC Landmark in 1985; and

WHEREAS, The applicant is proposing to repurpose an open arcade currently housing mechanical equipment on the 39th floor to create a two-story enclosed space with two open-air terraces for building tenants; and

WHEREAS, Mechanical equipment for the building will be relocated to the roof and a newly created mezzanine level occupying about half of the existing arcade, and be covered in galvanized steel painted gray; and

WHEREAS, Proposed alterations also include:

  1. Enclosing the open arcade with aluminum-framed low-iron glazing and six doors painted the same color as existing trim on the building that will be fit into existing openings of the masonry, and
  2. The installation of glass security rails on the inside of the north and south set-back terraces which will require minimal shifting of decorative aluminum detail; and

WHEREAS, The relocated cooling towers will be minimally visible from only half of a block on the East side of Fifth Avenue between 47th and 48th Streets; and

WHEREAS, The applicant will not be removing any historic fabric from the landmark and the visible glazing additions will blend in with the rest of the building; and

WHEREAS, The applicant is taking great care to propose modifications that do not detract from the architectural merits of 45 Rockefeller Plaza as it relates to Rockefeller Center; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval for modifications to 45 Rockefeller Plaza that include enclosing an open arcade at the top of the building, moving mechanicals to the roof, and installing glass railings along the north and south set-back terraces.

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