Yesterday was a busy day at the Landmarks Preservation Commission. In addition to approving the revamp of historic Gansevoort Street, the commission also voted to approve changes to the area surrounding the site of the erstwhile Bancroft Building of West 29th Street, poised to give way to a 796-foot tower designed by AIA gold medal winner Moshe Safdie.
Developer HFZ Capital approached the commission with an application for the new tower that requires the developer to repair and maintain the landmarked Marble Collegiate Church and Gilsey House, which surround the site, YIMBY reports. In order to build the tower, HFZ needs air rights from both of the landmarked structures.
In February, when the tower first came in front of the LPC, the commission gave its blessing to the developer's plan to demolish three row houses to the east of Gilsey House and construct new buildings in their place, create a park in the former footprint of the Bancroft Building, and raze an executive building north of the church. They, however, disapproved the restoration of the Gilsey House, mostly arguing that a restoration that reflected the building's more historic nature was important.
HFZ, along with preservation architects and LPC regulars Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, returned on Tuesday with a more sensitive plan that expanded the scope of architectural improvements to Gilsey House, including improving windows throughout the building and restoring them to their 1900 condition.
The commissioners praised the proposed restoration as "terrific" and "very rich," paving the way for the 800-foot tower at 8 West 30th Street.