125 East 78th Street
Upper East Side Historic District
An Italianate style residence built c. 1871. Application is to construct rear yard and rooftop addition and excavate the rear yard.
CB8 Hearing: 01/11/16 (Approved)
LPC Hearing: 02/02/16 (Approved with Modifications)
The applicant proposes to extend the fifth floor of the townhouse toward the street, and increase the height of service and mechanical bulkheads. While not perceptible directly in front of the building, the raised bulkheads would be visible from vantage points on 78th Street and Lexington Avenue. The Preservation Committee believes there is a way to make the mechanical extensions truly disappear from view, and would prefer to see them moved farther back from the street to achieve this.
At the rear, the applicant proposes to extend the four lower stories into the rear yard and install a new bronze and glass façade with balconets. The Committee believes that the proposed design is too glassy overall and disrupts the traditional balance of brick and masonry in a secondary façade.
Although we appreciate the restoration work that will be done on the front façade, including brownstone repair and in-kind replacement of wood windows, the Committee cannot support the rooftop and rear additions as proposed. We suggest the Commission work with the applicant to reduce the visibility of rooftop bulkheads and maintain the simplicity at the rear façade.