1107 Fifth Avenue
Rouse & Goldstone
Carnegie Hill Historic District
A neo-Renaissance style apartment building designed by Rouse & Goldstone and built in 1925. Application is to enlarge a rooftop bulkhead.
CB8 Hearing: 06/20/17 (Disapproved)
LPC Hearing: 06/27/17 (No action); 10/24/17 (Approved)
The proposed bulkhead enlargement is entirely out of scale and inappropriate for this elegant building. 1107 Fifth Avenue is located on a very significant corner, surrounded by notable sites such as the Jewish Museum, Cooper Hewitt, Church of the Heavenly Rest, and the Kahn and Burden Mansions. These surrounding buildings are also low in scale, making this building very visible to the south along Fifth Avenue, in addition to its visibility from many places in Central Park. One of the places where this bulkhead is at its most visible is at the Engineer’s Gate entrance to the Park on 90th Street, where numerous passersby will notice the rooftop.
The current bulkhead is already an eyesore, and we cannot understand why the applicant would choose to make an existing problem even worse. In its original design, plans for the building show that it once had a distinctive water tower enclosure, with pedimented openings and a decorative copper tile roof. It is unfortunate that what once was a significant element of this building has now been marred.
As the numerous pages in the plans show, this bulkhead is visible from nearly everywhere in its current state, and to add additional ten feet of height for the sole purpose of elevator access to the roof would be ungainly and arrogant. Our Preservation Committee asks the Commission to deny this application.
As we stated in our testimony at the public hearing, the existing water tower enclosure is already far too large and conspicuous for such a stately building in a prominent location. As the photos show in the presentation, this bulkhead can be seen from nearly everywhere. While an exposed water tower is an improvement over the much larger bulkhead that was proposed – and we do love water towers as an iconic part of the skyline – the proposed design does nothing to try and improve the appearance of this structure. The bulkhead would still be a solid mass, clad in unattractive paneling, and cut off with a flat roof. This building once had a thoughtfully-designed water tower, which related more to the building below, and we feel that this proposal is too discordant with this building in both height and design. FRIENDS urges the Commission to deny this proposal.