After already gaining certification for a brand new building at 144 West 12th Street from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Rudin Property Management went back before CB2's landmarks committee last night with a plan to retain the existing structure and make its transition to condos an adaptive reuse project. The plan seemed to be a winner with the committee. Rudin is losing about 3,500 square feet of space in the new design because ceiling heights are already established in the existing structure and the developer is willing to give up a floor to keep the proposed plan approximately the same height as the already approved one. The street front facade has a much more uniform line with the adaptive reuse plan. FX Fowle Architects attempted to de-emphasize the horizontal mass of the building by incorporating a vertical emphasis on new taller casement windows and breaking up the horizontal mass into three visual segments. The western segment houses two maisonettes with entrances at street level. The eastern segment includes two garage doors for a garage that will contain 95 parking spaces for residents. Granite and limestone will be used on the facade at sidewalk level, with re-used or fairly common brick consistent with the 1955 originals for the upper floors. The committee seemed pleased with the redesign, but suspicious about Rudin's intentions and wanted to lock in the adaptive reuse plan as the only possible one that could move forward.
Things did not go as well following the presentation regarding work on 54 Bond Street. The owners of 54 Bond Street—the former Bouwerie Lane Theater at Bowery and Bond Street—will have to progress with their plans to place some additional equipment on the building's roof without the endorsement of CB2's landmarks committee. What seemed like a very unobtrusive addition to the cast iron landmark in some photos, looked considerably worse when the photos were taken from across the Bowery and down by 1st Street.
From this perspective and because of the building's very small-profile pediment, the addition began to look like a fat man hiding behind a napkin. The addition of digital creeping ivy did little to improve the situation. Ironically, this unflattering perspective is the view from CB3, not CB2. One committee member said, "It's visible from the sidewalk. I don't care where the sidewalk is." The committee voted no on its recommendation.
· St. Vincent's coverage [Curbed]
· 54 Bond Street coverage [Curbed]