Architectural preservationists got a boost last month when the Landmarks Preservation Commission rejected the Vornado plan to alter its recently acquired modernist landmark at 510 Fifth Avenue. Those pushing to maintain the original Gordon Bunshaft building?which has just been nominated to the World Monuments Fund Watch List?have been working on a scheme that would keep the doorways and escalators in place and could add a bar to boot. But they'll have competition: the LPC will consider a new Vornado plan, as yet unseen, at a public meeting on Tuesday afternoon.
Vornado's revised design is being kept under wraps and no public input is allowed, but remarks from Vornado's attorney, former Landmarks Commissioner Meredith Kane, claiming that the original egress configuration isn't workable for retail and that "without entrances on Fifth Avenue we won’t be able to do any of the other [restoration] work," have folks worried that the intact glass facade will be punctured with new doorways.
The preservationist alternatives are being offered to Canadian clothing retailer Joe Fresh, which will be taking over most of the space on this suddenly hot stretch of Fifth Avenue. Pointing to the new craze for shopping drunk (not to be confused with drunk shopping) they've reconfigured the layout to re-use the massive vault space as a bar/cafe that'll help to get shoppers in the proper buying mood. As for the Vornado mystery, stay tuned for the reveal on Tuesday.
· 510 Fifth Avenue coverage [Curbed]