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Flaming Tribeca Townhouse Gets Love From Landmarks Commission

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The Ed Hardy T-shirt of Tribeca townhouses is what we called the proposed renovation of 187 Franklin Street, a three-story, single-family home that the owners want to expand by two floors. Architect Jeremy Edmiston also designed a new look for the building, one with angled windows, new balconies and a wavy red-brick facade that looks like flames on the side of a hot rod. Neighbors felt abused, confused, and less than enthused. But the proposal made its way to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, where it was struck down by an irate board. Oops, sorry, force of habit. Actually, they love the thing!

Now that we have a more complete look at Edmiston's revised plans (above) and can see the details of the brick facade, the future 187 Franklin looks a lot less gorilla juicehead, as Snooki might say. The building went up in 1993, but it's part of the Tribeca West Historic District, making LPC approval a must. The commission voted 9-0 in favor of the proposal, using words like "phenomenal," "symphonic," "exciting," "smart," and "delirious." Not everyone was overjoyed. The rep for preservation group the Historic Districts Council, while urging the LPC to reject the plan, said, "The proposal takes an infill building that quietly respects its neighbors and turns it into a building screaming out for attention."

But that's a good thing! At least according to Bill Higgins of Higgins Quasebarth, a preservation architecture firm, who showed the commissioners other buildings in the district that have fancy fire escapes and sculptural brickwork. Commissioner Christopher Moore said that when he saw the project he asked himself, "Is this a contribution or is this lunacy?" His answer: "It's a valuable contribution and possibly a phenomenal contribution." Edmiston said the facade will be comprised of 14,538 bricks. Get ready to feel the burn real soon.
· 187 Franklin Street coverage [Curbed]