169 East 71st Street
Upper East Side Historic District
An Italianate style rowhouse designed by John Sexton and built in 1866. Application is to construct rear yard and rooftop additions.
CB8 Hearing: 03/14/16 (Approved)
LPC Hearing: 05/17/16 (Laid Over); 07/19/16 (Approved w/ Modifications)
169 East 71st Street is not only significant for its architectural merit, but also for its place in cinematic history as the home of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Thus, we are pleased that the proposed work will not be visible from the street, nor will it alter the appearance of the facade.
FRIENDS’ Preservation Committee can recommend approval for the penthouse addition, as it will not be visible along 71st Street. Although it will be somewhat visible from the corner of 72nd Street and Third Avenue, the penthouse addition will align with the cornice line of the rowhouse to the west, thus maintaining a cohesive and contextual rear roof line.
For the proposed rear extension, it is refreshing to see the reuse of the historic brick, wood windows, and restrained, traditional fenestration, rather than excessive glazing. However, the height and depth of this extension is problematic. The proposal to extend this building out by 17 feet and a full four stories high is not a neighborly approach, and encroaches upon the rear “doughnut.” For example, the adjacent building at Number 171, which has a lovely, curved rear, would face 17 feet of brick wall if this application is approved. Other neighboring buildings already extend far into their rear yards, and the approval of this extension would exacerbate an existing problem. While FRIENDS can support the penthouse addition, the excessive rear yard extension should not be approved by the Commission in order to preserve the historic green space in the rear.