Today the Landmarks Preservation Commission is hearing an application to alter the Art Moderne storefront at 103 Greenwich Avenue, the well-known quirky Day-O (R.I.P.) diner location. This has some preservationists and Curbed commenters riled up, and for more information and renderings of the proposal we turn to the GVSHP's great new landmarks application page. Here's how the group describes the plan:
The applicant is proposing to remove the metal storefront and replace it with a wooden storefront. The pressed tin cornice, which exists above the door on the West 12th Street side, would be replicated for the proposed new storefront. There would be a small blade sign projecting from the corner. There would be a small light to illuminate the sign and another small light just above the door (these lights are not shown on the plans below). The large glass panels would be fixed, and the smaller, upper windows would be operable transoms.
The applicant noted that although the glass in the proposed renderings appears to be an aqua color, in reality it would be clear.
Phew! Imagine how pissed people would be if the glass was aqua! So where does Community Board 2 stand on the death of Day-O?
We just heard from Sean Sweeney, the Soho activist who also happens to chair CB2's Landmarks Committee. The same plan was presented to the committee, which unanimously voted to deny the application before it was sent along to LPC (the board's vote is only advisory). Here's CB2's official resolution on the matter:
Whereas, although the existing diner-style storefront infill is not original to the building, nevertheless it is a beloved historic style and should be preserved.In the gallery above, check out the 1940 tax photo of 103 Greenwich Avenue, pre-Day-O. Is the new look a fitting tribute? Either way, the storefront's fate may be decided shortly.
Indeed, we worry about the possibility of losing this distinct Village attraction. This storefront represents a diner-style from the 20s and 30s that is fast disappearing, including Jerry’s Restaurant diner storefront in the SoHo Historic District, the Moondance Diner in SoHo and the Market Diners on the West Side, for example. It is things like this that give the Village its appeal to so many residents and tourists alike.
If the proposal were to restore the original storefront, that is one thing. But to replace a charming and fast-disappearing style of Americana with a newer style infill should be discouraged; but
Whereas, if the Commission feels otherwise, we suggest a new storefront infill would be successful if it continues the storefront of the adjacent storefront in the same building that was presented to the Commission as LPC Item #15, 235 West 12th Street. It was light, not as heavy or imposing as what is proposed currently; now
Therefore, be it resolved that Community Board 2 recommends denial of this application.
· 103 Greenwich Avenue [GVSHP]
· Day-O Going Away-O? [Curbed]