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11 E. 26th Street, an application to modify the storefront entrances, create a new opening, modify the parapet, enlarge existing stair and elevator bulkheads at the roof, and install a one-story rooftop addition.

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, December 08, 2022, the following resolution passed with a vote of 26 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, 11 East 26th Street is a building located in the Madison Square North Historic District neighborhood in Manhattan; and

WHEREAS, Rockrose Development owns 11 East 26th Street building (“11”), as well as the adjoining building, 15 East 26th Street (“15”); and 

WHEREAS, The two block buildings occupy frontage on both E. 26th and E. 27th Streets along the north side of Madison Square Park; and

WHEREAS, 11 is a 21-story neo-gothic store-and-loft building constructed between 1912-1913, and 15 is a twenty-story store-and-loft building constructed between 1910-1912; and

WHEREAS, The proposed renovations seek to both rehabilitate 11 for continued commercial use and create shared common amenities between the buildings including a new commercial lobby and rooftop amenities; and

WHEREAS, The proposed modifications include constructing a new primary entrance for the residences and for the commercial entryway; and 

WHEREAS, The new commercial entrance design includes a revolving door fitted with an overhead marquee; and 

WHEREAS, The new residential entrance will reinstate a gothic arch design, matching the existing entrance to the west complete with limestone and cast metal inlay above the entry; and 

WHEREAS, The proposal seeks to install a multi-light transom and metal bulkhead articulated marquee entry, which will become the primary commercial ingress for both buildings; and   

WHEREAS, The original bulkhead was composed of cast metal and louvered but subsequently replaced with stone, and remains stone today; and 

WHEREAS, The proposal also seeks to modify the rooftop including restoring (i) the crown of the building to allow for active use of the space and restoring (ii) the existing 12-foot tall parapet; and 

WHEREAS, The rooftop has been altered significantly over time, and the proposal seeks to create aperture openings within the gothic quatrefoils, the recesses in the existing parapet ornamentation; and 

WHEREAS, The historic condition of the crown of the building included terracotta finials rising up from the parapet and the arch of the piers was also marked by the finials, but by 1970 all the finial elements had been removed; and

WHEREAS, The proposal seeks to restore the original neo-gothic character of the parapet to match the historic profile and finish, including introducing new terracotta coping and terracotta pinnacles; and

WHEREAS, The parapet modifications also include installing new glass panels set in the openings and new painted cast metal profiles replacing the terracotta quatrefoils; and

WHEREAS, The proposal contemplates restoring the finial height; and 

WHEREAS, The proposal includes a new rooftop addition located at the center of the roof; and

WHEREAS, The modifications would also consolidate all of the mechanical equipment on the rooftop in the center of the roof to limit obstructing the restored crown to the building; and

WHEREAS, The relocated mechanical equipment as well as the proposed rooftop addition would be visible, including above the primary façade, from a number of view points;

WHEREAS, Community Board Five finds that the addition of a marquee is not harmonious with the historic district and is detractive; and 

WHEREAS, Community Board Five is concerned with proposed renovations to the parapet and roof, namely the removal of the historic terracotta, as well as the mechanical and rooftop addition visibility; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends denial of the application, unless the applicant agrees to both (i) remove the proposed marquee from the renovation plans and (ii) make efforts to restore the parapet consistent with its original design and material.

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