134-136 East 74th Street
1871-1875, built as two row houses
1920, 1928, 1930
Upper East Side Historic District
A Modern style house with a commercial ground floor, originally built in 1871-1875 as two row houses, with subsequent alterations in 1920, 1928 and 1930. Application is to construct a rooftop addition, alter the rear facade, excavate the cellar, install rooftop mechanical equipment, and alter the front facade and areaway.
CB8 Hearing: 03/18/13 (Front & Rear Facade Approved; Rooftop Addition & Fence Disapproved)
LPC Hearing: 04/09/13 (Laid Over); 05/07/13 (Laid Over); 05/21/13 (No Action)
LPC Meeting: 06/11/13 (Approved with Modifications)
134-136 East 74th Street is the most idiosyncratic example of a collection of unusual redesigns that enliven the streetscape of the Upper East Side. These early twentieth century renovations are analyzed and celebrated in Andrew Dolkart’s The Row House Reborn, the thesis of which qualifies these designs as significant developments in the history of housing and neighborhoods in New York City. While most of the proposed alterations to 134-136 East 74th Street are consistent with the style, scale, and materials of this unique townhouse, the existing planar façade and minimal cornice line are features unmatched in any other known design of this type on the Upper East Side. The Preservation Committee at FRIENDS therefore found the historicist mansard incongruous and inappropriate.
Also, the applicant’s six-foot-tall areaway fence aggressively disengages the building from the street and should be reduced by at least two feet or eliminated entirely. The FRIENDS’ Preservation Committee asks the Commission to continue working with the applicant on these aspects of the proposal before approving this application.