Tom Wolfe wasn't the only notable no-show at today's Landmarks Preservation Commission meeting down on Centre Street. Two commissioners played hookie due to personal reasons, which meant the LPC didn't want to rule on a proposal as controversial as Aby Rosen's 980 Madison Avenue without every voice in the room. Still, it looks like this luxury condo project is going to ultimately get the go-ahead, which is good news for Rosen (who was in the house) but bad news for the Upper East Side's fortune tellers, who were really counting on the business.
If you recall, this bronze-wrapped rooftop addition to the old gallery building at 980 Madison was brought to the LPC over the summer, after Foster's original glass skyscraper design was trashed by some angry locals and one impossible-to-overcome Upper East Side generation gap. A Foster & Partners architect (not Lord Norm) presented a revised fancy PowerPoint to the LPC today, and one big change is that the addition will be a lighter "champagne bronze" to help it fit in better with what lies beneath. That makes the renderings seen up top and below slightly outdated, but for the most part the design remains unchanged.
The commissioners praised the architects for restoring 980 Madison (which involves demolishing rooftop and rear additions tacked on in the '80s), but they went back-and-forth on whether the addition "overwhelms and diminishes" the old building, or if it's the right proportion given the massive full-block size of the building. Howevs, even those who had some concerns indicated they could support the proposal (minus a couple hard-liners), so unless the absent commissioners think the design is total garbage and convince their colleagues of the same, we expect the LPC to approve Rosen's baby, give or take an additional tweak. Our condolences to Mr. Wolfe.
· 980 Madison Avenue coverage [Curbed]