696 Madison Avenue
Upper East Side Historic District
A neo-Grec style residence designed by J.H. Valentine and built in 1878-79. Application is to legalize the installation of a storefront and awning without Landmarks Preservation Commission permit(s) , and to install heat lamps at the storefront.
CB8 Hearing: 10/6/14 (Approved)
LPC Hearing: 10/21/14 (Approved with modifications)
FRIENDS had a difficult time evaluating this project because the applicant was not forthcoming with the proposal. Numerous calls, messages, and emails requesting information went ignored. Our assessment is thus based solely on what was gleaned from the presentation to the Community Board.
That being said, we took no issue with the proposal. Our committee found the modular storefront to be appropriate, reinforcing the pedestrian experience. We did find the heat lamps to be unnecessary given their limited use, and were initially critical of the units’ bulky, inelegant design—one that will be reasonably visible to pedestrians. We did, however, end up evaluating them as a utility structure akin to a roll-gate. As their installation is reversible our committee found them to be minimally obtrusive. We do ask, however, that the lamps be installed in an appropriate color rather than bare metal.
Even though the applicant did not share their proposal with us, the Preservation Committee at FRIENDS supports the application.