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130 West 42nd Street, Bush Tower – Application for roof replacement

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, September 10, 2020, the following resolution passed with a vote of 40 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, the building at 130 West 42nd Street was constructed in 1916 - 1918 by Helme & Corbett architects for the Bush Terminal Company and is known as the Bush Tower; and

WHEREAS, the building, a 30-story tower, is an influential prototype for set-back skyscrapers combining historical neo-Gothic detailing with pronounced vertical emphasis; and

WHEREAS the building was designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission as an individual landmark in 1988; and

WHEREAS, the crowning pavilion on the building is set back on all four sides, with a gabled copper roof and a pair of fleur-de-lis armatures at the north and south ends of a gabled ridge; and

WHEREAS, the copper roof has been repaired many times and today is covered with modified bitumen roofing membrane and flashing which need to be replaced, and all that remains of the fleur-de-lis armatures is a partial streel frame; and

 WHEREAS the owner proposes to replace the existing roof with PMMA Resin, liquid applied, fleece reinforced, with a final coat of Patina Green color resin; and

WHEREAS, the roof is located approximately 400 feet above the sidewalk and is only minimally visible from distant public vantage points; and

WHEREAS, the owner’s consultant reports that the proposed roof is superior to a copper roof as it has higher wind uplift ratings, is safer to install on a steeply sloped confined space, and will look like patinaed copper immediately upon installation; and

WHEREAS, while Community Board Five prefers that materials proposed as replacements on landmarked buildings match existing, historic precedent, the replacement materials proposed by the applicant for this building are appropriate given, among other things, the minimal visibility of the roof from the sidewalk; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the application for 130 West 42nd Street to replace the roof.

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