753 Madison Avenue
Anthony M. Pavia
Upper East Side Historic District
An apartment building designed by Anthony M. Pavia and built in 1959. Application is to legalize work at the corner storefront in non-compliance with Certificate of Appropriateness 19-15330 and Miscellaneous/Amendment 19-17653.
CB8 Hearing: 07/16/18 (Approved)
LPC Hearing: 07/24/18 (No Action)
LPC Meeting: 10/9/18 (Approved)
Other projects: June 27, 2017
FRIENDS’ Preservation Committee is sympathetic toward the unique challenges that can arise from unforeseen mechanical issues, such as those which necessitated this revised storefront configuration. However, FRIENDS Preservation Committee remains concerned about the piecemeal fashion in which the storefronts at 753 and 755 Madison Avenue have been redesigned, as was stated in our June 27, 2017 Public Hearing testimony.
While the proposed and already semi-installed limestone at 753 Madison Avenue will more closely match the façade of 755, there are subtle differences, such as the lack of granite sill band connecting the base at the sidewalk and the proposed black powder-coated window surrounds that, in conjunction with the glossy bright white storefront in between, obscures the fact these three storefronts belong to the same building. It would be better if the details of color and materiality matched those of 755 Madison Avenue exactly, not just partially, to unify these façades as components of one contiguous ground floor.
We are similarly concerned with the configuration of the ‘right-angle’ window to the side of the setback entry door fronting Madison Avenue. It neither matches the configurations of the two other storefronts in the building, nor resembles similar set-back entries on Madison Avenue in the Upper East Side Historic District. We feel that this feature does not harmonize with the simple and sleek planes that epitomize Madison Avenue storefront design.
Lastly, though we understand the architects’ reasoning for the dark power coat color on the 65th Street louver, we agree with the CB8 Landmarks Committee that it would be more appropriate if it were coated with the limestone color used on the Madison Avenue louver. Overall, FRIENDS could support this amendment if our concerns outlined above are addressed and adequately modified.
In FRIENDS’ July 24th Testimony, we expressed concerns about the initial revised designs for the corner storefront at 753 Madison Avenue. Our Preservation Committee felt that the “right-angle” window was discordant with not only its neighboring storefronts at the base of this building, but with the characteristic sleek store entries on Madison Avenue and beyond in the Upper East Side Historic District. At that hearing, several Commissioners agreed that the proposed door and glazing patterns were “inappropriate and unsuitable for the district” and that simple angles and straight masonry piers would better harmonize with the storefront’s surroundings.
While perfect unity with the neighboring retail entrances hasn’t quite been achieved, FRIENDS appreciates that the corner glazing adjacent to the entry has been removed, and that distinct masonry sills have been re-introduced beneath the large display windows. Ultimately, we find this simplified design to be more in keeping with the retail character of the neighborhood, and we support the amended proposal.