The Westbury Hotel
George B. Pelham
Upper East Side Historic District
A neo-Renaissance style apartment building designed by George F. Pelham and built in 1925-26. Application is to modify a marquee and install lighting.
CB8 Hearing: 1/14/19 (Approved)
LPC Hearing: 2/12/19 (Approved)
Other projects: December 12, 2017
The lighting, if the rendering serves as an accurate representation, nicely highlights the ornaments on the first three floors of the building. We worry somewhat that the lighting could become excessive overnight, but we trust that the building management and residents will consistently monitor the level of illumination and make adjustments as necessary.
While the applicant was thoroughly logical and scientific in seeking a solution to remedy the continual damage to the marquee on the Madison Avenue façade, the proposed design short-changes this Rosario Candela-designed feature on a contributing building in the Upper East Side Historic District. Truncating the depth of the marquee would result in much squatter proportions, thereby diminishing the visual impact of this feature and reducing the effectiveness of its intended purpose of protecting the entry from the elements.
FRIENDS’ Preservation Committee feels strongly that this is an operational issue, not an architectural one. The building owner ought to solve the issue of truck damage through parking regulation in front of the marquee as opposed to turning to a design intervention as the first attempt to solve the problem. Just as we are disappointed with trucks backing into our street trees and killing them, we don’t want them backing into our Candela marquees, and forcing us to amputate them. We urge the commission to deny this application, and for the applicants to further study ways to discourage truck parking in front of the one single affected bay on Madison Avenue before committing to permanently altering a significant historic feature.