860 Fifth Avenue

Building Name

1050 Fifth Avenue


Wechsler & Schimenti

Year(s) Built



Upper East Side Historic District

Project Information:

An apartment building designed by Sylvan Bien and built in 1949-50. Application is to alter and enlarge rooftop additions.

CB8 Hearing: 02/15/12 (Approved)
LPC Hearing: 02/21/12 (Approved)

FRIENDS Testimony:

Although this 1949 Sylvan Bien apartment building was deemed a “no style” building in the 1981 Upper East Side Designation Report, FRIENDS’ Preservation Committee is resolute in the preservation of several aspects of its vocabulary. These include the building’s multifaceted massing and the prominence of the water tower.

While the proposed addition is certainly an improvement over the current accumulation of greenhouses, our committee determined that its considerable size detracts from the central tower. In addition, its shear glass planes are unsympathetic to the complex massing of the building and provide simply too much glazing on the rear. The eight-foot-tall glass skylight is especially unnecessary and inappropriate. Finally, the proposed alterations to the water tower windows – from multi-paned to single-paned – is a detriment to a significant design feature. Our committee asks the Commission to work with the applicant to craft a scaled-down design that is more sympathetic to the building’s architecture.