Developer Daniel Straus had a nasty scrape with Community Board 8 last week when his proposal for the six brownstones on East 74th Street he bought from the Whitney Museum in 2010. He paid a reported $95 million for the portfolio—which the Whitney sold off to raise a quick buck for its downtown Renzo Piano spectacular—with the intention of putting in vaguely-defined "commercial and residential uses." Now thoses uses are defined as one high-end condo building. Straus hired preservation specialists Beyer Blinder Belle, who hope to retain the brownstone facades but "essentially create one big building behind them topped with a series of boxy terracotta additions of varying colors." One of the six townhouses would also be razed for a glass-canopied entrance to the new condo structure with "fewer than 15 large family-sized apartments."
CB8's Landmarks Committee was none too pleased over the idea of a boxy condo tower plopped downtown between Beaux Arts and Brutalism; their recommendation to preserve the brownstone facades and nix the tower will go before Landmarks Preservation Commission next.
· Community Blasts Condo Plan for Former Whitney-Owned Brownstones [DNAInfo]
· Brownstone Bonanza! Whitney Museum Sells Eight UES Oldies [Curbed]