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Bizarro Tribeca Embraces Craziest Rooftop Addition EVER

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The year may be young, but we can say with confidence that we have a top contender for 2009's Craziest Renderings countdown. Picking up the wackiness slack for the frozen 56 Leonard Street is this 9,530-square-foot rooftop condo addition to 78-80 Leonard Street, a hot mess of tin, wire glass and corrugated metal that architect Henry Smith-Miller calls a "stone cloud," the Downtown Express calls "origami," and we call "the Aggro Crag." Smith-Miller says the matte gray addition, which would have eight units and not be visible from the street, was inspired by rooftop mechanical equipment and would look solid from the outside but allow people on the inside to gaze out. And now the but. Not only does this project fall inside the Tribeca East Historic District (and therefore must get Landmarks Preservation Commission approval), but it's also within the rule of Community Board 1, a cranky group that doesn't take kindly to change. But here's the twist: CB1 fucking loves it.

Community Board 1 gave advisory approval to the landmarks application with a 32-5 vote in December.

C.B. 1 usually turns down any rooftop addition over one story tall, purely on principle. But this time, there was a wrinkle: “We all liked the design very much,” said Bruce Ehrmann, co-chairperson of the Landmarks Committee. In a positive resolution, the board called the modern design “arresting and aesthetically breathtaking.”

“It’s an unbelievable project for Tribeca — amazing,” added Brian Lutz, a public member.

We have no idea where they are stashing the bodies of the real Community Board 1 members, but irate Tribecans who disagree with this imposter CB1's assessment may never need to find out. Right now there's no financing to get this thing built, though there is an interested investor. So, an outlandish Tribeca project gets support from the community, but may not have the money? What has this world come to?
· That’s not origami, that’s a Tribeca penthouse [Downtown Express]
· Projects: 78-80 Leonard Street []

80 Leonard Street

80 Leonard Street, New York, NY