163 East 69th Street
Albro & Lindeberg
Upper East Side Historic District
A neo-Georgian style garage and house designed by Albro & Lindeberg and built in 1909, and later altered in 1954. Application is to construct rooftop and rear yard additions, modify masonry opening, replace windows and doors, and install balconies.
CB8 Hearing: 04/19/21 (Approved)
LPC Hearing: 10/05/21 (Approved)
FRIENDS appreciates the main facade restoration of this early 20th-century characteristic garage building. The reintroduction of the central garage door is a welcome change, and the replacement of the ground floor window with a door, while not the original configuration, will introduce a pleasant symmetry to the facade. We are slightly hesitant about the change in operation of the second story windows, and would ask the applicant to ensure the look and feel of a true double hung window is preserved.
Despite its visibility, the rooftop addition is significantly setback and restrained. Additionally, the material of choice does aid in making sure it blends in with the streetscape and doesn’t call undue attention to itself.
FRIENDS Preservation Committee values the restoration of a portion of the backyard, especially in an already overbuilt and dense block. However, we cannot support the proposed alterations of the rear facade. Given their limited visibility, it is very rare for rear facades to be as untouched as the one at 163 East 69th Street. The nine punched windows compose a pristine and symmetrical facade with a delightful regularity. The proposed alterations are incongruous with the building’s style and character, additionally, the proposed openings are unconventional and completely out of scale with the building, and between themselves, creating an odd look.
We urge the Commission to disapprove this aspect of the proposal, and ask that the applicant comes back with a proposal that is more adequate to this building’s character and celebrates the unspoiled rear facade.