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222 Central Park South, application for window installation

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, April 13, 2023, the following resolution passed with a vote of 31 in favor; 0 opposed; 0 abstaining:

WHEREAS, The Gainsborough Studio is located at 222 Central Park South across from Central Park; and

WHEREAS, Architect Charles W. Buckham designed the building, which was constructed between 1907 and 1908, after demolition of an existing building on the site; and 

WHEREAS, In its designation of the building as a New York City Landmark in 1988 the Landmark Preservation Commission described the building as a “particularly fine example of artists’ cooperating housing, planned and organized by artists in response to a shortage of suitable living and working space”; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five has previously noted the building’s expansive windows designed to capture the most natural light possible to benefit the artists; and 

WHEREAS, The applicant proposes to replace two non-original, center-pivot casement windows on the west side of the 14th floor on the primary façade with in swing casement windows; and

WHEREAS, CB 5 provided public notice of a hearing on the application before the Landmarks Committee as required by the Board’s policies and procedures; and 

WHEREAS, The frames on the existing window frames are wood but the frames on the windows proposed by the applicant would be aluminum; and

WHEREAS, CB 5 has previously urged the Landmark Preservation Commission to develop a master plan for the building so that window replacements would restore fenestration uniformity and symmetry to the graceful and elegant façade of the building; and

WHEREAS, CB 5 again requests that the LPC work with the building’s board to develop a master plan and, in doing so, use the instant application as the basis for the master plan; and

WHEREAS, While CB 5 finds that the structure of the proposed windows – in swing casement windows with one light – is consistent with window replacements previously approved by the Commission, the aluminum frames proposed by the applicant are neither appropriate nor contextual as they create a thinner window profile that is not consistent with the design of the landmark and does not relate to the profile across the building.

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of the application unless the applicant replaces the proposed aluminum frames with wood frames and provides a wider profile consistent with the current wood windows; and be it further 

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends the Landmark Preservation Commission use this resolution as the basis for a master plan for the building that will promote future window replacements that reflect more closely the historic and architectural context of the building.

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