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Gene Kaufman's Resurrected Soho Plan Denied at Landmarks

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A proposal by architect Gene Kaufman for a new mixed use building at 341 Canal Street in Soho, resuscitated after languishing during the economic freeze, was slapped down by the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday. The same plan, seven-stories of aluminum and glass in a quasi-cast iron mode with 58 residential units on top and retail below, was previously approved by the LPC in 2007, but then stalled when the real estate market crashed. Bankruptcy followed in 2009, but now the development team at Judo Associates has secured some cash and is ready to go once again. Just one problem: LPC approvals are only valid for 3 years, forcing the developer to start the approval process all over again. So Kaufman and crew dusted off the old renderings of 341 Canal, aka 11 Greene Street, and brought them in for some show and tell. But the current commissioners, many of whom weren't on board for the prior approval, didn't like the show and weren't shy about saying so.
The flatness of the plan, which shows long expanses of unarticulated yellow painted aluminim, was a key complaint. Kaufman tried to explain that the configuration of columns and spandrels would offer appropriate shadows, making the design just right for this prominent Soho corner. But one commissioner, picking up on testimony from The Society for the Architecture of the City regarding the flatness of the plan, agreed that the Kaufman proposal "looks like an old loft building through the wringer" and found the plan "woefully lacking in design and presentation." Another commissioner knocked the aluminum cladding, voicing concern about visible seams and other detailing. Yet another declared that the expired application was an opportunity to get things set right, and the perfect chance to push for better materials and design. In the end, the Commission sent Kaufman packing, his 2007 plan unapproved. A whole new application for the big lot at 341 Canal Street will be required, with hearings to be set for a future date.
· Kaufman Set to Cross Canal and Invade Soho [Curbed]
· Arrested Development: Mean Gene's 11 Greene Out of Money? [Curbed]
· 341 Canal Street coverage [Curbed]

341 Canal Street

341 Canal Street, New York, NY