Last Tuesday, architect David Helpern went before the Landmarks Preservation Commission and presented his latest plans for a row of townhouses on 145 Perry Street for the second time in as many months. (He has added a townhouse, bringing the project's townhouse count up to four.) Helpern met resistance from multiple neighborhood groups, most notably a group calling themselves "The Perry Street Crusaders," who in 2007 began the process of getting the area rezoned to prevent Helpern from building a hotel. (That process was completed two and a half years later and now the area is strictly residential.)
Helpern's new plans seemed partially geared toward appeasing the Crusaders as he devoted a portion of his presentation to talking about how large the communal garden behind the townhouses would be (1,911 square feet, up from around 1,700 square feet the last time they presented plans). He did not, however, appease the LPC. LPC members were unimpressed by the corner townhouse, which drew comparisons to a prison, a bank, and a "very unfortunate government building." And so Helpern was sent back to the drawing board.
Our favorite thing about the renderings is how they wanted to show that there would be trees but they didn't want the trees to obstruct the view of the townhouses so they made it look like the townhouses are evil places that makes the leaves fall off trees. Opinion time! Are the buildings too boxy and institutional? Just boxy and institutional enough? Could living things grow in their vicinity?
· 145 Perry Street coverage [Curbed]