LPC Rejects Aby Rosen’s Modifications to Former Women’s Shelter at 348 Lafayette

Posted on: February 5th, 2016 at 5:16 am by

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11 Bond aka 348 Lafayette, July 2015

​You may have noticed the orange fencing atop 348 Lafayette Street (aka 11 Bond). That’s an illustrative mockup of the rooftop addition proposed by real estate magnate Aby Rosen in his bid to convert the former 43-bed women’s shelter into a luxury commercial complex. You’ll recall that Rosen purchased the 1913-vintage building last summer for $26 million. Plans for the full job were filed with the Department of Buildings back in December.

Unfortunately for the RFR Realty head, however, the $3 million job was met with resounding denial by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. (348 Lafayette resides in the landmarked Noho Historic District.)

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Proposal for 348 Lafayette St.

The LPC hearing transpired on Wednesday. According to YIMBY:

The proposal, presented by Julie Hausch-Fen of Union Square-based Selldorf Architects, called for extending a 1924 rooftop addition on the left side of the building over to the right side of the building, while also changing the fenestration pattern. Fenestrations would also change on the third and second floors. The first floor would be brought to grade and add oversized retail storefronts. The Board of Standards and Appeals would have the approve the base retail. The stable entry (horses were cared for there) on the left side of the building would be changed to an accessible entry. Additionally, the fire escape would be removed and a new bulkhead would be added.

Pushback seemed to center on the window enlargements, removal of stable elements, and the forsaking of its past as an animal hospital. For instance, Sarah Bean Apmann of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation noted:

GVSHP objects to the rooftop addition, the enlargement of third floor windows, the lowering of the doorway (unless required by ADA), the single-pane windows at the second floor, and the enlargement of the ground floor windows. These windows could be make taller, but should not be widened and combined. It is this combination, along with the blank plate glass that is dissonant with the existing building.

The architect should find a way to either retain the masonry verticals between pairs of windows, or repeat the width of the brick as a metal muntin. On the Lafayette Street elevation, the horizontal continuity of the granite water table is an important element. It should not be removed at the rounded-head window at the south side of the Lafayette Street elevation.

In the end, though, the commission seemed okay with the rooftop add-on, so long as it receded from public view a bit.

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