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595 Madison Avenue, The Fuller Building, application to expand and replace a cooling tower on an exterior terrace of the 18th floor

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, February 13, 2020, the following resolution passed with a vote of 35 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, The Fuller Building located at 595 Madison Avenue and 41 East 57th Street is an office skyscraper constructed in a conservative Art Deco style; and

WHEREAS, It was built in 1929 by the prolific architecture firm Walker & Gillette and is notable as one of the first skyscrapers built so far north in Manhattan; and

WHEREAS, The building was designated as an exterior landmark in March of 1986 by the Landmarks Preservation Committee (as well as an interior landmark); and

WHEREAS, “The wide base with its complex setbacks rising to a tall tower” creates the dramatic silhouette and profile of the Fuller Building one that was “typical of this period of skyscraper building,” as noted in the LPC designation report; and

WHEREAS, The 1916 Building Code required setbacks at various floors allowing light and air to reach down to street level, the Fuller Building entirely fills its lot up with stories up to the 11th floor where Aztec influenced setbacks begin culminating in a majestic tower that rises from the 21st to the 40th floors; and

WHEREAS, The designation report continued that “another major design element of the Fuller Building is the tension created by the horizontal and vertical emphasis of its different sections;” and

WHEREAS, The applicant constructed a full-scale mock-up of the proposed new cooling tower system that they would like to place on an exterior terrace off the 18th floor; and

WHEREAS, This new cooling tower would be highly visible from numerous points particularly along the 57th corridor, specifically from the primary façade of the building, and would interrupt the landmark’s elegant, cascading silhouette and the deliberate architectural tension between the different sections; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application for the installation of a cooling tower on the exterior roof of the 18th floor of 595 Madison Avenue.

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