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900 Broadway, between East 19th and 20th Streets, Application for Amendments to the Master Plan.

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, July 13, 2023, the following resolution passed with a vote of 37 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, 900 Broadway, located on the northeast corner of 30th Street and Broadway is a 10-story commercial building in the Ladies’ Mile Historic District of Manhattan; and

WHEREAS, The building was originally built in 1886-1887 with six stories, designed by prominent architectural firm McKim, Mead & White; and

WHEREAS, The building was renovated by the firm Maynicke & Frank in 1905-1906 including the addition of four extra stories, façade modifications and significant structural reinforcements; and 

WHEREAS, The New York City Landmarks Preservation Committee approved the building’s existing master plan in 2003 which sought to address and reverse alterations completed in the mid-20th century that were incompatible with the building’s historical context; and

WHEREAS, Subsequent to the approval of the master plan, the applicant commissioned extensive research studies of the existing fabric of the building which yielded new discoveries of the original condition of the building as it was erected by McKim, Mead & White; and

WHEREAS, The proposed amendments to the master plan seek to incorporate these new findings, namely the redesign and renovation of the main entryway at the southernmost bay on Broadway including the replacement of infill of the two-story base of the building and replacement of a service entrance door on the E. 20th Street side; and

WHEREAS, The new main entry will recreate a reasonable facsimile of the original design, remove two stone half column posts and recast the entrance bay in decorated cast-iron outfitted with the original paint scheme, a replicated bronze, and contextualize the historic character of the building; and 

WHEREAS, The new main entryway double doors will be solid steel and painted with a formulation created by Jablonski Building Conservation to match the existing windows and original finish; and

WHEREAS, The applicant also proposes modifications to the service entryway, replacing the existing wooden door and framing with a new door that will mimic the original; and 

WHEREAS, The requested modifications should be incrementally positive developments for accessibility given the main entryway doors will each measure four feet in width with center-pivot providing effectively more expansive opening than the existing structure and otherwise no configuration or level changes are contemplated; and 

WHEREAS, The proposed modifications to the existing plan address elements that were influenced by the renovations completed under Maynicke & Franke, as determined by research and investigation undertaken subsequent to the existing master plan’s approval and these entryway elements are now inappropriate and ability to reconstruct consistent with the original condition should be granted; and  

WHEREAS, The applicant has engaged in thoughtful research and analysis for the restoration and demonstrated strong adherence to maintaining the historic character and exterior aesthetics of the landmark as the proposals are harmonious with the building’s historic elements, represent an improvement to the existing mater plan, and appropriate to the building’s restoration; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the application by the applicant at 900 Broadway, for restoration and renovative work on the façade under the proposed master plan amendments as the modifications are appropriate and considerate to the historic fabric of the building, and further be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five suggests the applicant reconsider the proportions of the main entryway subject to these modifications, specifically the alignment of the infill windowpane elements between the split upper and lower portions of the bays.

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