31 Union Square West
Re: 31 Union Square West, application for exterior modifications at the retail space along 16th Street, including accessibility/egress alterations at an existing exterior platform, storefront modifications at one bay of infill, and the installation of outdoor furniture.
At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, March 11, 2021, the following resolution passed with a vote of 37 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:
WHEREAS, 31 Union Square West (the ‘Applicant) is an L-shaped, 15-story store and loft building on the Northwest corner of Union Square West and 16th Street with facades on Union Square West and on 16th Street, in the Ladies Mile Historic District; and
WHEREAS, The building was built in 1902-1903 for The Bank of the Metropolis, and designed by architect Bruce Price; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant is proposing to add an ADA compliant ramp at the east end of the early/mid 1980’s-added outdoor raised dining terrace on the 16th Street side of the building; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant is proposing to add egress stairs at the west end of the outdoor dining terrace; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant is proposing to add eight permanently affixed bar components, constructed of laminated glass, bronze-finished aluminum and wood to the edge of the terrace; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant is proposing to add limestone cladding to the exterior base of the 1980’s-added dining platform; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant is proposing to extend the 1980’s-added bluestone pavers ; and
WHEREAS The Applicant is proposing to add bronze-finish aluminum pipe rails to compensate for the 2’-4” high historic rails which do not meet current code, and
WHEREAS, The Applicant is also to surface the ADA ramp with concrete; and
WHEREAS, The proposed eight permanently affixed laminated glass, bronze-finished aluminum and wood bar components are not harmonious with the American Renaissance architectural style of the building; and,
WHEREAS, The proposed eight permanently affixed bar components could be a significant danger to passers-by; and,
WHEREAS, The proposed eight permanently affixed bar components will place customer’s feet right at the historic ironwork railings; and,
WHEREAS, The proposed limestone base cladding material will be easily damaged, difficult to maintain and, so, not in keeping with the quality of construction of the 1902-03 building and,
WHEREAS, The proposed decorative bronze-finish stair rail is neither a high quality replica of the historic railing nor an unobtrusive modern railing; and
WHEREAS, The proposed modifications would not be harmonious with the building itself or with the Historic District; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application at 31 Union Square West.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this matter.