17 East 89th Street
Expanded Carnegie Hill Historic District
A neo-Renaissance style apartment building, designed by Gaetan Ajello and built in 1924-25. Application is to replace storefront infill.
CB8 Hearing: 06/17/13 (Approved)
LPC Hearing: 07/09/13 (Approved)
While a design approach that unifies the storefronts of 17 East 89th Street is understandable, the streetscape of Madison Avenue is enlivened by variety. The visual texture and sculptural quality that is created by deeply recessed storefront doorways, divided window enframements, and idiosyncratic signage is part of what makes this thoroughfare interesting. In a 1950 Wurts Bros. photograph from the Museum of the City of New York digital gallery, the storefronts of this building are shown as uniformly tripartite with deeply-recessed flared central entries and retractable awnings. Photographs (attached) from the Madison Avenue survey conducted by FRIENDS 50 years later show the last remaining historic storefront, which was recently replaced without a LPC permit.
The FRIENDS Preservation Committee views this application as an opportunity for the building to return to a storefront design that is based more closely on the historic model shown in these photographs, with more deeply recessed entries, more divisions in the expanses of glass, and customized signage. We ask the Commission to continue guiding the applicant towards these goals.