132 East 62nd Street
Upper East Side Historic District
An Italianate style rowhouse designed by John Sexton and built in 1871. Application is to legalize the installation of an areaway fence and gate, without Landmarks Preservation Commission permit(s).
CB8 Hearing: 10/23/19 (Disapproved)
LPC Hearing: 11/12/19 (Denied)
FRIENDS’ Preservation Committee commends the applicant for having removed the security camera and planters installed without Landmarks Preservation Commission permit(s). However, FRIENDS has long been an advocate for a more welcoming streetscape and cannot support the legalization of the five foot tall fence. Late 19th-century townhouses such as 132 East 62nd Street were designed in such a way that the public sidewalk blended seamlessly with private areaways. In the 1920s, when many of the original stoops were removed, small scale fences were usually installed, creating a sense of security while maintaining a harmonious streetscape. High fences, although present in the Historic District, are not appropriate for the building style and create a hostile environment to the pedestrian. In addition, the existing fence sits at an odd height, disrupting the pattern of the neighboring fences.
Although FRIENDS typically takes issue with work done without a permit, in this case, we believe the style of the existing fence adapts historic features in a contemporary manner creating a pleasant variation in the neighborhood. However, our position remains consistent when it comes to the fence height, we urge the applicant to consider a lower fence that is more in scale with the rowhouse and would still provide a sense of separation and security for the homeowner.