34 East 70th Street
Charles Graham & Sons (built)
William Lawrence Bottomley (altered)
Upper East Side Historic District
A neo-Medieval style residence, originally built as two row houses in 1884-85, altered and combined by William Lawrence Bottomley in 1924-29. Application is to alter facade, construct rooftop and rear yard additions, excavate the areaway and modify masonry openings.
CB8 Hearing: 04/20/20 (Disapproved)
LPC Hearing: 04/28/20 (No Action)
LPC Hearing: 10/27/20
Chair Carroll and Honorable Commissioners,
Bottomley’s 1920s alterations to the adjoining rowhouses at 34-36 East 70th Street created a quirky neo-Medieval style residence that enhances the diversity and character of the Upper East Side. The proposed changes represent an enormous change to the architect’s original intent for this house. While FRIENDS does not object the rear-yard additions and alterations, we lament the loss of the second-floor wrought-iron balcony on the main facade, as we believe the Juliet balconies are incongruent with the building’s style and character.
Additionally, FRIENDS’ Preservation Committee takes issue with the material replacement of the main facade. We believe that the use of limestone will detract from the building’s style and idiosyncrasy, and that different shades and textures of limestone won’t be able to provide the facade with the contrast designed and built by Bottomley. The proposed limestone facade and Juliet balconies will destroy the building’s character and, if approved, the new structure will be a mere shadow of the neo-Medieval residence.
FRIENDS’ urges the applicant to go back to the drawing board and work with the commission to come back with a plan that is more in-keeping with the architect’s design and intent and more respectful towards the building’s style and character.