785 Fifth Avenue

Building Name

785 Fifth Avenue


Emery Roth & Sons

Year(s) Built



Upper East Side Historic District

785 Fifth Avenue
Project Information:

An apartment building designed by Emery Roth and Sons and built in 1962-63. Application is to alter window openings, replace terrace guardrails, and construct a rooftop addition.

CB8 Hearing: 09/16/13 (Approved)
LPC Hearing: 09/24/13 (Approved)

Other projects: January 15, 2013

FRIENDS' Testimony:

The proposed alterations to 785 Fifth Avenue respond in many ways to Emery Roth & Son’s Modernist design. The new frameless glass guardrails recall the building’s original rails and will be uniformly replaced at all terraces. In addition, the continuous glass window at the penthouse level is logically based on the hierarchy of the building’s fenestration. While the new guardrails were found to be appropriate, the Preservation Committee at FRIENDS suggests incorporating a masonry edge at the corners of the penthouse-level windows to maintain consistency with the ribbon windows on the three floors beneath.

The rooftop canopy is a more radical design than what is typically reviewed by the committee. However, only a small portion of this canopy is visible from the street, and thus it was found to be appropriate to the building and the surrounding historic district. Nevertheless, FRIENDS cautions the Commission to work carefully with the applicant on the material, color, and finish of those visible sections, the qualities of which will likely change due to weathering. With careful oversight and the suggested change to the penthouse-level windows, FRIENDS will support Commission approval of this application.