127 East 92nd Street
C. Abbott French & Co.
Carnegie Hill Historic District
A neo-Grec/Queen Anne style rowhouse designed by C. Abbott French & Co., and built in 1886-87. Application is to construct rooftop and rear additions.
CB8 Hearing: 03/14/16 (Approved – Facade; Disapproved – Rear elevation and third floor addition)
LPC Hearing: 06/28/16 (Laid Over); 07/12/16 (Approved)
Although the architect was not forthcoming with us about this project, FRIENDS would like to comment on the troublesome aspects which we gleaned from the proposal documents posted online. The proposed rear extension at 127 East 92nd Street will add too much height and bulk to this rowhouse, thus encroaching upon the “doughnut” space of the block. In addition, the large windows at the rear result in an excessive amount of glazing for a traditional rowhouse. FRIENDS does not object to the rooftop addition, as it will not be visible from the street.
Number 127 was built as of row of five, which extended east to Number 135. These buildings were originally designed with an alternating facade pattern, and in the rear, also had alternating rear yard extensions. When constructed, each rowhouse had a small extension which took up only half of the building’s width. These extensions were cleverly paired back-to-back along the row to allow each rear yard the maximum amount of light and air. It is important to note that only one building in this row, at Number 133, has had a major addition onto its original extension. The building now has a two-story, full-width extension, which FRIENDS opposed.
Additionally, a new building was built next door at Number 125. At the LPC hearing for the project, many neighbors and groups testified against the building’s bulk and rear depth, which extended far beyond the other rowhouses on the block. By allowing the application proposed today to increase the size of its rear yard extension would only exacerbate an existing problem and would set a precedent for others.
In addition, the facade of this building is in great need of restoration, and we hope that the deteriorated condition of the facade will be addressed in the future. In the designation report, this building is specifically called out as being “virtually intact on the exterior.” Overall, FRIENDS asks the Commission to deny this rear yard extension.