133-137 East 73rd Street
William H. Birkmire
Upper East Side Historic District
A neo-Georgian style residence designed by William H. Birkmire and built in 1899-1900 and a neo-Italian Renaissance style building designed by Charles Stegmayer and built in 1898-1899. Application is to construct a rooftop addition, alter the rear façade, and alter the stoop.
LPC Hearing: 10/31/17 (Approved with Modifications)
We are relieved that these buildings are returning to the LPC for a new permit after years of scaffolding, violations, and stalled work. This site has been left in poor condition for many years, and we hope that this proposal will get the project back on track. In its previous iterations back in 2008, the proposed rooftop was far too large and visible, so we are happy that this proposal retains the scaled-down version approved in the expired permit.
The proposed design is still visible from numerous locations, although this is due in part to the one story building to the north and the downward slope of Lexington Avenue. We would prefer for the visibility to be reduced, perhaps by setting back the addition more along the east elevation along the Lexington Avenue side. In addition, we worry about the color of the proposed terra cotta rainscreen, which looks very orange, and would prefer a darker, less conspicuous color.
The proposed change from wood to aluminum-clad wood windows as part of this project is inappropriate, and we feel that a building with this much avenue frontage should feature wood windows. At the stoop, we do not oppose the alterations to the steps and door, but we ask the Commission to work with the applicant to refine the details of the rooftop so that the visibility can be reduced.