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De Niro Wins Over Landmarks Commission With Talk of Geometry

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Tribeca gamechanger and celebrity project though it was, Robert de Niro's Greenwich Hotel didn't get a pass from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The commissioners had some harsh words for the hotel's penthouse back in 2008 when they realized the seventh story addition didn't match the design the LPC had approved. De Niro himself showed up to the commission for retroactive approval, but the LPC sent the team back to the drawing board. Their revisions came before the commission today in an agenda addition that wasn't quite last-minute enough to prevent a horde of photographers from showing up to snap pics of De Niro.

The penthouse received unanimous approval. How'd it get there? By removing the roof that so troubled the LPC and adding brick to match the rest of the building and a pergola, in the words of the architect, "to create shadow and to give it life." And by talking a lot about the revised rooftop's geometric look, complete with cubes and Japanese Wabi design. Even the more cynical members of the LPC ("I'm not convinced there's any actual Wabi going on," said one) were on board, thanks in part to new renderings that show the penthouse looking much less threatening. We snapped the above shot to hold us over until we can get clearer ones from the architects. (UPDATE: Official LPC presentation photo added above.) One commissioner concluded, "Now the building is speaking a Tribeca language." Agree/disagree?
· Greenwich Hotel coverage [Curbed]