2 East 88th Street
Pennington and Lewis
Expanded Carnegie Hill Historic District
An Art Moderne style apartment building designed by Pennington and Lewis and built in 1929-30. Application is to alter the penthouse.
CB8 Hearing: 06/13/22 (Approved)
LPC Hearing: 07/19/22 (Approved with Modifications)
2 East 88th Street is a striking example of late-1920s apartment building design. Its distinguished rooftop is characterized by the prominent corner tower with stone female heads and is described to be a “reference to the Porch of the Maidens at the Erectheion on the Acropolis in Athens.” The rooftop asymmetry and verticality are significant features that contribute to the character and style of this building in the historic district.
The industrial design of the proposed bronze windows complements the spare and severe style of the building, and the removal of the masonry elements at the southwest corner portion of the tower’s second story will reintroduce some of the lost asymmetry and transparency. However, FRIENDS believes the applicant could have gone further, and reinstated the vertical masonry pier between the enlarged window opening at the second level of the west facade, matching the brick column above, in order to reinforce the original rhythm of solids and voids.
While we are not opposed to the significantly increased glazed area, the additional bulk generated by the awning and pergola is not in keeping with the building’s style and disrupts the reading of the upper portion of this highly visible building. The horizontal nature of those elements will result in a skewed alignment between the tower and the one-story volume at the rear, and significantly detracts from the balance of this very robust vertical rooftop.
FRIENDS Preservation Committee is not unsympathetic to the proposed cast stone finish, nor the proposed window and massing changes on the rear of the building. Nevertheless, we lament the loss of the greenhouse on the southeast portion of the rooftop.
FRIENDS asks the applicant to rethink the additional massing elements, and to work with staff to make sure the verticality of this penthouse is preserved.