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Rafael Vinoly to Build Mini-Seagram on East 64th Street?

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An Upper East Side neighbor sent us the pictures above and let us know that the 1879 townhouse at 162 East 64th Street was destined for the wrecking ball, and would be replaced by a building designed by none other than Rafael Viñoly. The starchitect reportedly described his project on East 64th Street as having the appearance of the Seagram Building on the facade, with an Apple store-style cube in the back yard. The existing townhouse was one of four built in the 19th century by architect John Prague, but this block lies outside of the Upper East Historic District Extension.

According to the tipster, the townhouse was recently purchased by Eduardo Eurnekian, a prominent Armenian-Argentinian businessman who made a fortune in media and airports. Public records show that the property was purchased in March 2011 for $6.45 million and is owned by Sedgwick 1031 LLC. The new building is supposed to become the corporate headquarters for Eurnekian's U.S. business interests with a small apartment on the top floor. Viñoly has worked for Eurnekian in the past, including designing the Uruguayan Air Terminal at Carrasco International Airport in his native Uruguay.

Neighbors know that they are powerless to stop its owner from tearing down the townhouse at 162 East 64th Street, but they are petitioning to have its replacement be a less drastic departure from the rest of the street.
· Rafael Viñoly coverage [CurbedNY]