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 sculptural figures and a gate at the stoop.
FRIENDS Preservation Committee acknowledges the limited scale and reversibility of this proposal. We are, however, concerned about the lack of details regarding the installation of the sculptural figures. The architectural drawings presented do not specify how the lion’s base will attach to the limestone posts, and completely disregard the surface’s curvature. While we understand the desire of the owner to embellish his property, we believe this to be a loud and unnecessary proposal, albeit not entirely inappropriate.
Additionally, FRIENDS sympathizes with the wish for security, and while the gate’s design is appropriate to the building, its presence isn’t. This exemplar Beaux-Arts townhouse has a very prominent entrance, with a narrow areaway, small stoop, and detailed door. The proposed gate would detract from the building’s entrance and create a very busy appearance. Finally, we are also concerned about the gate’s mechanism. East 68th Street’s sidewalk is narrow and heavily used, given its proximity to Central Park, and a gate that swings outward might be unsafe for passersby.