605 Park Avenue
Replace railings and install a canopy. An additional application is to establish a master plan governing the future installation of replacement windows, balcony enclosures, and through-wall
Upper East Side Historic District
An apartment building designed by Sylvan Bien and built in 1953-1954. Application is to replace railings and install a canopy. An additional application is to establish a master plan governing the future installation of replacement windows, balcony enclosures, and through-wall HVAC units.
CB8 Hearing: 09/19/16 (Approved)
LPC Hearing: 09/20/16 (Approved)
FRIENDS laments the loss of the original open balconies on this classic white brick apartment building. The staccato effect of these balcony openings, most of which have already been compromised, was a classic midcentury design feature that emphasized the horizontal lines of the building. When the previous proposal for these balcony enclosures came before the Commission in 2014, we appreciated that the form of the original railings would be retained in the design to show what once was there. Now, the new master plan design eliminates these balconies entirely.
In addition, the proposed balcony replacements and changes to the windows from one-over-one to single pane will result in the loss of what few original midcentury modern details exist at this building. FRIENDS appreciates these midcentury white brick buildings, which we believe are contributing buildings to the district, rather than “no-style.” Our Committee feels that the proposed design choices seek to make this building more bland and ordinary, rather than embracing its midcentury aesthetic. We ask the Commission to work with the applicant to create a design that will be more appropriate to this building’s design.