20 East 63rd Street
Altered by J.M. Beringer in 1954
Upper East Side Historic District
A rowhouse originally designed by Gage Inslee and built in 1876, and altered by J.M. Beringer in 1954. Application is to install storefront infill and awnings, replace windows, alter the front facade, and install areaway fences.
CB8 Hearing: 03/17/2014 (Limestone base – Approved; Brownstone upper floors – No Action)
LPC Hearing: 04/01/2014 (Approved with modifications)
After meeting with the applicants, FRIENDS was heartened to learn that the firm was dedicated to undertaking a renovation of 20 East 63rd Street that was sensitive to its context in the Upper East Side Historic District. Following earlier meetings with the Landmarks Preservation Commission and a presentation at Community Board 8, the applicant seems committed to incorporating community input into their proposal, evidenced by the evolution of the design over the past few weeks.
While we at FRIENDS sometimes wish for contemporary architectural expressions in cases where little original building fabric is preserved, the current proposal is both sophisticated and appropriate for its setting. The design team has artfully combined historic elements from neighboring buildings into a composition that addresses the transition from the commercial buildings on Madison Avenue to residential buildings on 63rd Street. Further, the attention to detail- such as specifying molded brick on the restored upper floors and wood framed divided light windows- go a long way towards respecting neighboring buildings and the historic district as a whole.
FRIENDS does request, however, that the corporate logos on the awnings be limited to the base at the first two floors. With a reduction in the number of branded awnings, the Preservation Committee at FRIENDS can support approval for the proposed changes to 20 East 63rd Street.