19 East 74th Street
Alterations by Schwartz & Gross
altered in 1930
Upper East Side Historic District
An Italianate style residence built c. 1869 and altered in a simplified neo-Federal style by Schwartz & Gross in 1930. Application is to replace windows and modify an opening.
CB8 Hearing: 07/19/21 (Approved)
LPC Hearing: 08/10/21 (No Action)
19 East 74th Street is one of the many 19th-century Italianate townhouses that were altered in the beginning of the 20th century and are an essential part of the Historic District’s character and significance. Unfortunately, over the past years, there have been far too many proposals to strip off historic details, and significantly alter the building’s style. We are pleased to see that this is not the case in this proposal, and that the applicant is maintaining the masonry details and modest character of the 1930 facade.
FRIENDS is not opposed to the additional door on the ground floor, especially considering the history of secondary basement doors on the facades of redesigned rowhouses. We believe the newly designed door ironwork to be appropriate, however, we don’t understand the desire to alter the transom design, let alone have two different styles of transom. The existing design suits the proposed door ironwork and should be replicated on the new door opening.
Finally, FRIENDS Preservation Committee takes issue with the proposed steel casement windows. While we can’t recommend the replacement of significant historic material when restoration is a viable option, we understand the changing needs of energy efficiency. We recognize the applicant’s effort to propose multi-panels, however, we believe it isn’t enough. Small, multi-pane sashes are a key element of the Colonial Revival design, and the proposed change is substantial. Going from eight panes to only two per sash and transom will significantly alter the look of this townhouse and diminish its historic character.
We ask that the applicant work with the Commission to find a better compromise between energy efficiency and historic details, and come up with a solution with more subdivisions.