The third design proved to be the charm for architect Ed Carroll, whose plans for a hotel neighboring the 182-year-old Merchant's House Museum have finally been approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission a year and a half after they were first presented. Carroll first design was too big for the LPC, and the second one was too metallic and lacking depth, but the third one was, if not just right, minimally offensive and, basically, contextual enough. "Yeah, the building is boring, but it's appropriate," said Commissioner Michael Goldblum. The other Commissioners concurred, for the most part, that the new design featuring beige brick, glass, and metal spandrels, met the basic requirements they had set out for it. The only Commissioner to vote against the proposal, Margery Perlmutter, called it "drab on so many levels." "I feel like we've been exhausted into saying yes to this proposal, so I'm saying no," she said.
The hotel proposal has been a subject of controversy not just because of its underwhelming design, but also because of the neighboring Merchant's House, which preservationists fear will be harmed by the construction. The developers have promised to take extensive measures to ensure that the almost-two-century-old structure will not be harmed, and the Commission had basically signed off on that aspect at the last hearing, so there was no further discussion of the museum. It's supporters, wearing stickers urging the LPC to say no to the hotel, left quietly and dejectedly.
· Merchant's House coverage [Curbed]
· 27 East 4th Street coverage [Curbed]