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Third Time's the Charm for Proposed New West Village Building

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It turns out that development-weary neighbors and extensions of historic districts are no match for the Far West Village building boom. Over near Richard Meier's glassy triplets, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has just approved a new six-story building at 685 Washington Street, at the corner of Charles Street. For years the landlords have wanted to demolish what remains of a one-story garage built in 1937 and toss up some new luxury apartments on the site. The design that was approved yesterday was actually the third version of the plan, and some major compromises were made along the way.

Back in 2008 the project started out as a seven-story building with a duplex penthouse on top. The LPC wasn't having it, so the penthouse was scrapped and the building was lowered a bit. There were also changes to some of the design details, like the 86'ing of balconies on the Washington Street side of the building. That still wasn't enough, and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation lists the latest alterations that were made, the ones that ultimately resulted in a big win for the developers:

- The rounded corner was changed from cast stone to brick
- The cast stone band between the 5th & 6th floors was eliminated
- The balconies were reconfigured to be flush with the facade
- The storefront was changed from limestone to brick & aluminum
- The cornice was changed from cast stone to GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete)
- The lot line windows on the Washington Street facade were reconfigured

The Commission voted to approve the proposal, as long as the following changes are incorporated into the final design (these changes are to be worked out with Commission staff; the applicant will not be returning for another public meeting):

- The vertical mullions on the corner windows are to be green as opposed to white
- The cornice is to be a darker color and is to have greater depth

As you can see, it's the little things that make the LPC happy. A little research reveals that the site is owned by John and Ronald Pasquale, brothers mixed up in the real estate biz. Surely men of such experience should have known to make their window mullions green on the first try! Check out the evolution of the design in the gallery above, and make some room for your new neighbors, Meierville.
· 685 Washington Street [GVSHP]

685 Washington Street, New York, NY