St. Luke’s Proposal Shortened Slightly, Approved
We are sad to report that last week the Landmarks Preservation Commission also approved the proposed tower at 100 Barrow Street on the St. Luke's block, as well as additions to the St. Luke's School, with relatively minor modifications. In the case of the tower, it was shortened slightly, though made no smaller, as the mass of the building was simply added to the lower portion. The design was changed somewhat, but the changes failed to address many of the serious concerns we and others expressed about its problematic relationship to its surroundings.
Similarly, the additions to the school were approved with only changes to the color of the materials, but without addressing the shortcomings in the proposed addition's design. Perhaps worst of all, the LPC voted the approvals without giving the public any opportunity to review or comment upon the new designs, which has become common practice by the Commission in recent years -- a practice to which GVSHP has long objected.
While GVSHP supports the ability of St. Luke's Church and School to grow, and believes that sensitive additions could be appropriate at these locations, we felt that the proposed designs were jarring and out of place in their special, historic context. In spite of hearing from GVSHP and scores of others to this effect, we are disappointed that the LPC voted to approve the revised designs.
See GVSHP's webpage on this application to view the original and approved designs, as well as to access video of the two LPC meetings on this application.