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Split-Personality Village Building Wins Landmarks Approval

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After significant design changes were made, a proposed five-story commercial/residential building at 192 Seventh Avenue South at the corner of West 11th Street was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday. The existing building, a one-story commercial structure, which the applicant said is "not well maintained," will be demolished. While the vote was unanimous, there was some objection.

The original proposal, which featured a masonry façade on the 11th Street side and a metal and glass façade on the Seventh Avenue South side, was objected to by both the Historic Districts Council and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation for not being harmonious.

The new proposal was presented by Cas Stachelberg of the preservation firm Higgins Quasebarth & Partners and architect Ed Carroll of SRA Architecture + Engineering. Stachelberg said the new design features "more texture and articulation." Both Stachelberg and Carroll pointed out that Seventh Avenue South only exists because the avenue was extended to go along the subway. Carroll highlighted how the new design brings more relief to the masonry on the 11th Street façade, brings the masonry on to the Seventh Avenue façade (replacing a lot of the metal), and replaces the white pieces with black pieces.

Commissioners Michael Goldblum thought the proposal "could be better" and suggested that the vertical masonry section that splits the Seventh Avenue façade could be used for the entrance. Commissioner Roberta Washington thought that there were elements of the original proposal that were more interesting, but in the end, neither felt any of that warranted rejection. Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said the new proposal responded well to the previous comments, and the proposal was approved unanimously.
—Evan Bindelglass is a local freelance journalist, photographer, cinephile, and foodie. You can e-mail him, follow him on Twitter @evabin, or check out his personal blog.
· All 192 Seventh Avenue South Coverage [Curbed]
· All Landmarks Preservation coverage [Curbed]