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Upper East Side residents reject plans to expand landmarked building

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There were a few harsh words used to describe the expansion plans at a recent community board meeting

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It’s back to the drawing board for the developers who entered a bid to expand the six-story building, known as Woodward Hall, at 50 East 96th Street. According to DNAinfo, Community Board 8 unanimously rejected plans filed by real estate company A. Ruth and Sons to add two stories, a rooftop, and a glass railing to the neo-Renaissance structure, calling the plans “grotesque and absurd,” ouch.

The plans called for an elevator addition to the mixed-use building (which is currently a walk-up), 5,872 square feet added on to the building’s crown, another 4,259 square feet added onto the roof, and a terrace with the aforementioned glass railing. Facade enhancements were to include mahogany windows, orange painted doors and window frames, and a setback that would make the additions slightly hidden from street view. But the community wanted no parts of it. “[T]his enlargement would bring this building to its architectural decline," stated member Marco Tamayo.

CB8 admitted that the building was in need of some work. Over the years, the facade has been damaged by rust, mildew, and other sorts of wear and tear. However, the community felt like this all added character to the building and new designs, created by William Q. Brothers Architect, did not do anything to retain its aesthetic. When contacted by DNA, William Brothers said that they were “updating their plans.” Hopefully, there’s better luck next time around.