Mayer & Whittlesey and Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill
A modern-style mixed-use complex, consisting of an apartment house, underground garage and stores, designed by Mayer & Whittlesey and Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, and built between 1947 and 1951. Application is to install a canopy and signage.
CB8 Hearing: 03/15/21 (Disapproved)
CB8 Hearing: 04/19/21 (Disapproved)
CB8 Hearing: 03/07/22 (Disapproved)
CB8 Hearing: 04/11/22 (Disapproved)
LPC Hearing: 05/17/22 (Approved with Modifications)
While the Upper East Side is best known for its 19th and early 20th century historic buildings, the neighborhood also boasts a surprisingly large number of outstanding modern structures. FRIENDS has been a longtime advocate for the preservation of Manhattan House, a remarkable example of European modernism aesthetics, and we were grateful to see it receive individual landmark status in 2007.
FRIENDS Preservation Committee does not condone work done without the proper review and approval process, and we appreciate the applicant listening to the community feedback and altering the proposal significantly. The existing canopy, built without LPC permits, is jarring, its design and bright color are completely inappropriate to a building of stylistic and historic significance such as this.
The East 65th Street entrance, as well as the covered lower level are a result of alterations done prior to designation, creating an ad hoc appearance. We acknowledge the aesthetic improvement of the minimalistic proposal when compared to the illegal canopy; nonetheless, we fail to see the utility of such design. If the intent of this project is to provide protection from the element, the horizontal design of this canopy is virtually useless.
FRIENDS believes the applicant should invest more time in finding comparable conditions, and possibly think outside of the box while coming up with a solution that is more in-keeping with this building’s style, and respectful of its landmarked status.