10 East 78th Street
Metropolitan Museum Historic District
A rowhouse built in 1886-1887, and altered in 1946. Application is to alter the front and rear facades and areaway, and construct a rooftop addition.
CB8 Hearing: 04/13/15 (Approved)
LPC Hearing: 05/05/15 (No Action)
LPC Meeting: 08/11/15 (Approved)
Overall, our Committee found the removal of the 1940s brick façade to be an acceptable change. Indeed, some felt the alterations will be an improvement over the existing condition. We would prefer, however, that the application had a relationship to the history of the building and was not just an architectural fantasy. Rather than the proposed limestone Beaux-Arts pastiche, the applicant should look to the 1939 tax photo as a guide for restoration.
The Preservation Committee at FRIENDS asks the Commission to work with the applicant to come up with a proposal based upon historical record.
The Preservation Committee found the revised proposal to be a modest improvement to the original. The hierarchy of the fenestration and the use of divided light windows on the front façade enhance the reading of the building. However, at the rear, multi-light windows would be more appropriate for the punched window openings.
Although our Committee found the proposal to be acceptable overall, the application represents a missed opportunity for a creative new façade. At the same time, it fails to recognize the opportunity to create a design with a sensitive relationship to the building’s history. We reiterate our previous testimony in recommending that the applicant should either look to the 1939 tax photo as a guide for restoration or put forward a contemporary solution, rather than the proposed limestone Beaux-Arts pastiche.
The Preservation Committee at FRIENDS asks the Commission to continue to work with the applicant to come up with a more appropriate proposal.