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UES 'McMansion' Fight is All About the Doughnuts

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The controversy over the combination of three historic Carnegie Hill brownstones into one 17,000-square-foot mansion explodes onto the pages of the New York Times today, following a testy Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing that saw many East 90th Street neighbors speak out against the proposed three-story rear addition and new fifth floor. The super-rich Wall Street tycoon who bought the two townhouses due east of his current home at 57 East 90th Street is Dr. Mitchell Blutt, and while the LPC didn't vote on his architect's presentation, they did suggest that adjusted plans should be drawn up. Still, the ready-for-a-scrap Carnegie Hill neighbors are not appeased, saying the 15-foot rear addition would "be as if someone added a line to a poem by Wordsworth or a new act to a Shakespeare play or two new floors to the Flatiron building." Indeed, it is that yard-trimming extension that has people most worked into a tizzy, because of the uncertain fate of "the doughnut," which the Times describes as "an inner sanctum invisible to much of the world aside from those whose homes surround a given block." Lo van der Valk, the president of Carnegie Hill Neighbors, said, "This is one of the five or six great doughnuts in Carnegie Hill." He added that had it been filled with jelly, it might have cracked the top three.
· In Manhattan, a Plan to Turn 3 Landmark Homes Into One [NYT]
· CurbedWire: UES McMansion Fight Update [Curbed]
· Upper East Side 'McMansion' Fight Begins [Curbed]