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52-54 Lispenard Decides Not to Demo, Wins OK from LPC

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After Murat Bugdaycay, the developer of two landmarked Tribeca buildings at 52-54 Lispenard Street, got a "no go" from the Landmarks Preservation Commission for the previous demolition plan, the development team returned this week with a new proposal and won the Commissioner's approval. Instead of razing the fire damaged remnants of 52 Lispenard, the creative crew from Section F Design came up with a three-story vertical extension that one Commissioner praised as a "worthy riff on cast iron." The latest design is a framework of welded heavy gauge steel over a stucco facade that's both sleekly modern and reverential to the style of the landmarked area. Windows will be set back within sloping metal panels, and the entire facade better relates to the proportions of the existing 54 Lispenard, where a full restoration of the original cast iron will take place. Down at the street, both 52 and 54 will get new storefronts and the steps of vaulted lights will be restored where possible, while new ramps and stairs in diamond plate will be added.
Up top, the penthouse additions have been reconfigured to minimize the visual impact from down below. Some folks at the LPC still see the rooftop aeries as too big and too visible. Apparently those details will be worked out before construction begins. But the basics of the Studio F plan were OK'd. The two penthouses will be differentiated by a slight setback at 54, and the facade materials will be contrasting. 54 Lispenard will get a hip-roofed addition clad in stucco and zinc, while the penthouse at 52 Lispenard will get a darker stucco face. Both are proposed to set back about 15 feet from the main facade, although a deeper setback might be in store before plans are finalized. The filings at DOB for 52-54 Lispenard show that the architect of record is Studio JS2; some zoning issues are pending.
· Official website: Section F [sectionfdesign.com]
· Historic Preservation [Studio JS2]
· 52-54 Lispenard Street coverage [Curbed]