11 East 68th Street
Construct rooftop and rear yard additions, alter and infill window openings, alter the courtyard, install a new entrance door, canopy, window grilles, and lighting, and replace portions of the sidewalk
Upper East Side Historic District
A neo-Renaissance style apartment building designed by Herbert Lucas and built in 1912-13. Application is to construct rooftop and rear yard additions, alter and infill window openings, alter the courtyard, install a new entrance door, canopy, window grilles, and lighting, and replace portions of the sidewalk.
CB8 Hearing: 9/10/12 (Entry Alterations: No Effect; Madison Avenue Facade Upper Floor Window Enlargement: Approved; E. 68th St. Window Infill and Alterations: Disapproved; Rear Yard Addition: Approved; Rooftop Addition: Disapproved)
LPC Hearing: 10/2/12 (Laid Over); 10/9/2012 (Laid Over); 10/23/2012 (Laid Over); 12/11/12 (No Action); 02/12/13 (Approved)
11 East 68th Street is a magnificent, powerfully symmetrical apartment building that has undergone little change since its construction in 1912. While we laud the applicant for their thorough presentation of the proposed alterations—many of which are appropriate—the Preservation Committee at FRIENDS found several of these changes to be problematic.
The enlargement of the East 68th Street corner window is unnecessary, removes historic fabric, and destroys the symmetry of the East 68th Street façade. For the same reasons, the proposed entry to the new commercial space is also inappropriate.
The Committee appreciates the material choice and utilitarian nature of the proposed rooftop addition, but the massing was found to be excessive. While the current penthouse structure is visible from the street, and the increased height of the proposed addition is minimal, the substantial increase in massing undermines the prominence of the building below.
The other proposed alterations were considered appropriate, including the enlarged central upper floor windows on Madison Avenue, the rear yard addition, and the alterations to the entry court. But the FRIENDS Preservation Committee urges the Commission to reject the retail elements of the proposal and work with the applicant in resolving the scale of the rooftop addition before approving this application.