clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Shrunken Tortoise Shell Topper Approved for Tammany Hall

New, 12 comments

The landmarked Tammany Hall on Union Square will be topped by a glass tortoise shell-inspired dome, but it will not be the "egregiously large" design originally proposed by BKSK Architects. After the Landmarks Preservation Commission rejected their initial plan in November, BKSK scaled back the addition and won the LPC's stamp of approval. The original larger dome was proposed to completely replace the building's current slate roof, and while the approved plan still includes a dome—shaped like a turtle shell in honor of Tammany Hall's namesake, Native American Chief Tamanend of the Lenape turtle clan—it also calls for a terracotta structure that replicates the existing roof. The plan also includes facade restoration, new signage on the front of the building, and new entrances and windows.

The smaller dome will still add an additional two floors to the building, but it will better blend in with the existing facade thanks to the terracotta. BKSK describes the dome as "a hipped glass structure shielded by terra cotta sunshade elements," which replicate the existing roof. The changes make it so that the dome will be less visible when standing near to the building, but highly visible from a distance.

The new plans also call for restoring parts of the building to their original look at the time of the building's completion in 1929; specifically, two windows on the 17th street side will be changed back into doors.

Members of the Landmarks Preservation Commission appreciated the changes made to the plans and felt that the new extension does justice to the renovations that will be made to Tammany Hall's facade. Members of the Commission did recommend that BKSK should try to donate the current slate roof instead of discarding it due to the condition that it's in. Members also agreed that most of the modern updates should be left to the new floors, while restoration efforts should be left to existing floors. The new proposal was accepted, and Commission members agreed that the design will make the building stand out in the area without clashing with the historic facade.
—Angely Mercado

· All Tammany Hall coverage [Curbed]