18 East 68th Street
Upper East Side Historic District
A Beaux-Arts style residence designed by C.P.H. Gilbert and built in 1904-05. Application is to install a gate at the entrance stairs.
Over the past decade, FRIENDS has seen less than a handful of projects get outright denied by this Commission on the Upper East Side. One of those was the proposed gate at the stoop of 18 East 68th Street last February. The Commission recommended denial, “finding that stoop gates are not historically found at houses of this age and style, within this historic district; and are not a typical feature of the surrounding streetscape; and that the proposed gate will not relate well to the composition of the facade and areaway ensemble; and will be an atypical presence, which will detract from the prominence of the entrance and overall design of the building.”
While FRIENDS believes the altered gate is slightly less intrusive, it is still inappropriate, for all the reasons the Commission denied this proposal in the first place. This exemplar Beaux-Arts townhouse has a very prominent entrance, with a narrow areaway, small stoop, and detailed door. The proposed gate, despite being shorter and more transparent, would still detract from the building’s entrance and create a very busy appearance. None of the precedents shown by the applicant are relevant to this application, as the buildings’ style and design are completely different from 18 East 68th Street. Additionally, it is unclear if those gates have been approved by this Commission.
We ask the Commission to deny this proposal, and the applicant to move forward with a less intrusive alternative solution, such as a chain, as has been suggested at the February Hearing.