Knickerbocker Hotel, 1466 Broadway on the southeast corner of 42nd Street and Broadway, application to amend the tenant signage master plan, install interior storefront lighting, and install a new LED sign at retail corner.
At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, February 13, 2020, the following resolution passed with a vote of 34 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining and 1 present but not entitled to vote:
WHEREAS, The Knickerbocker Hotel, located at 1466 Broadway on the southeast corner of 42nd Street and Broadway in Times Square, is a Beaux Arts style building of red brick with terracotta details, and with a prominent mansard roof, which was designed by Marvin & Davis, with Bruce Price and built in 1902-1906, designated in 1988 and put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980; and
WHEREAS, Its Annex was designed by Phillip C. Brown, built in 1894, and is a designated landmark as well; and
WHEREAS, Financed by John Jacob Astor, it was a luxurious hotel and a popular dining and dancing spot in New York's new theatre district, and is the only survivor out of several grand hotels that were built in the Times Square area; and
WHEREAS, The Knickerbocker closed in the 1920's during the Depression and was converted to office use and was later the home to Newsweek Magazine; and
WHEREAS, An application to alter the two-story commercial base, install canopies, construct a rooftop addition, remove a fire escape and install storefront infill at the Annex was approved in 2010; and
WHEREAS, An application was approved by CB5 in 2010 to alter the two-story commercial base, install canopies, construct a rooftop addition, remove a fire escape and install storefront infill at the Annex was approved in 2010; and
WHEREAS, A master plan to modify signage and install LED Panels inside the glass facades above the first floor with the kind of signage and lighting displays currently in operation in the Times Square area was approved by CB5 in 2014; and
WHEREAS, The applicant's revision to that master plan includes changes to the LED signs in the transoms and behind the windows;
WHEREAS, Those changes to the LED signs, including acrylic back-lit walls inside the ground floor windows and a fully illuminated LED sign on the corner of the building, do not fit the historical context of the building, and create significant levels of intense yellow lighting at street level; therefore be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the proposed signage and lighting changes at The Knickerbocker Hotel at 1466 Broadway and 42nd Street UNLESS the retail corner LED blade sign is removed and the illuminated yellow LED signs are drastically reduced in intensity, both in size and illumination, at both street level and in the first and second floor windows.