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Historic Tribeca building’s proposed glass topper needs tweaks, LPC says

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The two-story addition would have housed three apartments

Via Landmarks Preservation Commission

Plans to add a two-story residential addition to an existing retail and office building at 50 Hudson Street, in Tribeca, were sent back to the drawing board by the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday.

This was despite over a dozen local residents speaking in support of the rooftop addition. Many praised the contemporary design, and said it would be an exciting addition to the neighborhood. Other residents also stressed that the addition was totally in keeping with similar additions in the neighborhood.

It’s almost there, but not quite there yet, is essentially what the LPC had to say in response to the community support, and the design plans, that were the brainchild of architect Thierry Despont, known for his work on the Woolworth Building, among others.

The proposed two-story addition would be made with glass brick, a material relatively new to New York City, Despont stressed at the meeting. The addition would house three apartments, according to YIMBY. The addition would also include a rooftop terrace and a penthouse atrium.

Built in 1925, the building was originally home to a paper company. For the past several years, the building has had retail on the ground floor, and offices on the two floors above that. In 2007, the LPC approved a penthouse addition on the rear side of the building, which is currently occupied by the owner of the building, Eric Schlagman, according to property records.

Schlagman has been trying to expand the building for a while, but he’s going to have to wait a little while longer. While local residents were very enthusiastic about the proposal, Community Board 1 opposed it, as did the Historic Districts Council saying the addition was completely inappropriate to the neighborhood.

The LPC was a lot more optimistic. Most commissioners agreed that the building could even do with a few more floors, if the developer so proposed. They however did not particularly appreciate the setback on the addition, and preferred if it were flush with the existing building. Commissioner Michael Goldblum felt the glass brick was “very blingy” for the neighborhood and a little “unseemly.” In the end, the Commission agreed to give the developer and the architect another try at it.