61 East 77th Street
Harde and Hasselman
Upper East Side Historic District
A neo-Federal style school building with Beaux-Art style features designed by Harde and Hasselman built in 1916. Application is to reconstruct the stoop and construct a barrier-free access ramp.
CB8 Hearing: 10/19/20 (Approved)
LPC Hearing: 11/10/20 (Approved with modifications)
FRIENDS supports and applauds the applicant for making the building accessible. We would have preferred, however, a solution that does not disturb the building’s perfect symmetry nor encroach on the sidewalk. When presenting its plans to the community, the applicant very thoroughly explained why an internal solution would not be viable on the west-side street-level door. However, there are two street-level doors to the east, on the adjacent building, one of which the applicant is proposing to remove. We urge the applicant to work with the Commission to exhaust all possibilities of a solution internal to the building before approving the ramp.
If internal accessibility is indeed not possible, FRIENDS’ Preservation Committee does not oppose the proposed ramp. We lament the loss of the historic fence, but we believe the solution to be sensible and have a minimal impact to the building. FRIENDS takes issue, however, with the center railing of the stoop, which is not an accessibility requirement, and would severely impact the original wide-sweeping look of the building’s entrance. Additionally, we do not understand the need to change the design of the two handrails on each side of the stoop. We believe that replicating the existing design is much more appropriate to this neo-Federal apartment building.