Thirty Years Absent, New Jarmulowsky Bank Cupola Nears Return to Orchard Street

Posted on: August 6th, 2019 at 5:00 am by

It’s probably one of the more tasteful additions to the Lower East Side skyline in recent memory. Now, two years after the steel skeleton was first installed, the fifty-foot cupola atop the Jarmulowsky Bank Building is nearing completion.

Look up and beyond the black netting to see the colonnade, brass dome, and other decorative elements.

This rooftop addition – five years in the making – is an historically accurate replacement based on the actual 1912 blueprint drawings by architects Rouse & Goldstone. You’ll recall that the original had been removed during onsite renovations back in 1990.

Equity Management sold the landmarked corner property to DLJ Real Estate Partners in 2012 for $36 million.

As previously reported, architects tasked with the conversion project scored approval for a “special permit to modify height and setback requirements” for the landmarked building at 9 Orchard Street (aka 54 Canal). This modification includes a new roof deck with staircase access to the iconic cupola recreation. That’s in addition to the mechanical apparatus already installed. According to the plans, DLJ hopes to expand the allowable occupancy on the roof while also installing a viewing platform (i.e. lookout) accessible by both spiral stair and chair lift.

While these outer elements appeal to the preservation-minded, many locals remain against to the plans for the forthcoming 116-room boutique hotel and its food-and-beverage plan. The Orchard Street Block Association spearheaded the opposition to the roughly nine proposed venues, from bars and lounges, to restaurants, “event spaces,” and a 2,977 square-foot rooftop hang. What they termed “runaway nightlife” – enough overall occupancy to potentially overwhelm this small block of Orchard Street between Canal and Division.

Community Board 3 previously approved the hotel license without incident. State Liquor Authority is still pending a decision.

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