Last time the developers behind the plans for a nine-story hotel at 27 East 4th Street presented to the Landmarks Commission, things didn't go so well—they were met with multiple hours of public testimony from politicians, local residents, and others who were more than a little concerned about the perceived threat to the neighboring Merchant's House Museum.
Supporters of the Merchant's House again showed up in droves to a second hearing this morning, but since it wasn't open to public testimony they simply assembled menacingly in the audience. The developers, for their part, came prepared and kicked things off with a nine-part presentation (beginning with a section aptly titled "Boring Logs") on how the construction would be completed in such a way that the structural integrity of the Merchant's House should not be compromised. The Commission found the presentation to be, if not completely convincing, very thorough. Ultimately, though, they decided that they would need more information, possibly from some sort of expert third party, to determine whether or not the construction would pose a real threat.
It was something of a moot point, however, as the LPC had significant objections to the proposed design of the hotel itself, comprised of dark glass and steel inside a stone border "intended to replicate limestone," according to architect Ed Carroll of SRA Architecture + Engineering. "[Similar buildings] express the top part with a little more gumption than you do. You sort of let it wimp out at the top," remarked one commissioner. Another described the rear facade being the same as the front as "the lazy way out," and yet another said that the windows made it "look like a 1960s office building." Multiple commissioners also stated that the hotel should not be the same exact height as the building on its left and that it should, in fact, be lowered in height in order to give it context within the neighborhood. All of these issues will need to be addressed by SRA and the developers before they present to the Landmarks Commission next.
· 27 East 4th Street coverage [Curbed]