In a big win for preservationists, hotel developer Sam Chang has agreed to preserve the facade of the Christ Church Memorial buildings in his new 20-story hotel coming to 36th Street and Ninth Avenue. Chang acquired the 110-year-old church last year for $50.8 million with the intent of completely razing it and erecting another of his development group's soulless budget hotels, but stopped short of demolishing the building's facade amidst formidable community outcry. (The interiors, though, are gone for good). At a Community Board 4 meeting last week, Chang presented a new plan for the hotel that incorporates the church's facade as well as parts of its six-story parish house in its design, the Times reports.
McSam Group pulled a similar stunt with their Hyatt Union Square development, which incorporates the site's former two-story structure into its facade. "Maybe we preserve enough [of the building] that we get nice reviews at TripAdvisor," Patrick Jones, special counsel to McSam Hotel Group, told the Times of the Christ Church Memorial site hotel. Meanwhile on TripAdvisor, the Hyatt Union Square has a 4.5 out of 5 star rating.
· Midtown's Vanishing Historic Architecture [NYT]
· A Bland Hotel Will Replace This 110-Year-Old Church [Curbed]