Vornado Realty and their team from SOM have gotten a big slap down: a judge has issued a temporary restraining order and ordered work to stop at the landmarked Manufacturers Hanover Trust Building at 510 Fifth Avenue, the Times reports. The Gordon Bunshaft mid-century masterwork has been fully gutted since the Landmarks Preservation Commission gave the OK for renovations of the landmarked interior in April. But Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Lucy A. Billings put the brakes on further work after a lawsuit was filed by the Citizens Emergency Committee to Preserve Preservation, which claims that Vornado is doing work beyond what was permitted by the Commission.
The lawsuit was sponsored by CECPP under the guidance of lawyers Michael Gruen, instrumental in saving Grand Central Terminal, and Albert Butzel, a key player in killing Westway and driving a stake into the heart of Con Ed's big power plant plan at Storm King Mountain on the Hudson River. Theodore Grunewald, founder of the Coalition to Save Manufacturers Hanover Trust, says that Vornado and the LPC have "robbed this bank of its key architectural, historical and symbolic elements" and thereby stripped it of the very things that make it a landmark. LPC says that the work being performed by SOM conforms to what was allowed. Vornado has offered no comment.
UPDATE: The LPC tells us the temporary restraining order has not taken effect because the petitioners have not posted a bond.
· Judge Halts Landmark’s Alterations [NY Times]
· 510 Fifth Avenue coverage [Curbed]