Proposed “Tribute” to de Kooning Atop Landmarked 827-831 B’way Rejected by Community Board; Landmarks Hearing 11/28
The developer’s proposal to add an oversized, four-story glass addition to 827-831 Broadway, the 1866 loft structures which GVSHP recently led the successful campaign to landmark, was roundly rejected on Monday night by Community Board #2’s Landmarks Committee. The developer purported that the proposed addition would be a tribute to Willem de Kooning and the many other artists who lived and worked (and in some cases still do!) in the building over the last six decades. The proposal now goes to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for a hearing on Tuesday, November 28th (time TBD), where its fate will be decided.
Aside from the visually overwhelming nature of the proposed addition, there were several disturbing elements to the developer’s arguments. First, they claimed that the building was a “cultural landmark only” and therefore did not warrant the same type or level of consideration regarding changes to the building that other landmarks do – a patently false claim. Second, upon questioning by GVSHP it became clear that the developer will likely seek permission from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to demolish all but the façade of the building, even though the application does not specify this. The developer claimed he was entitled to do so and the LPC would have no authority to prohibit such demolition – another disturbing and false claim.
Fortunately neither the Community Board nor by far the majority of those in attendance were swayed by the developer’s claims or arguments. It’s critical that we send a strong message to the Landmarks Preservation Commission that they should not be either.
Urge them to reject the proposed addition to the building.
For more information on the application and to sign up for alerts about it, click here.