Despite public testimony against the project, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the newest megamansion coming to the Upper East Side, the latest in a long list of megamansions in various stages of development across the city.
This particular application concerned the combination of two, slender, five-story townhouses at 53 and 55 East 92nd Street respectively. The owners wanted to combine the two structures into a single, six-story building, which would include a rooftop addition, a rear yard addition, extensive excavation in the back, and restoration of the front facade.
The proposed excavation would extend two stories below ground and allow for the creation of a host of swanky amenities including a basketball court, a gym, a sauna, a “yoga pavilion,” and a screening room, among others.
This excavation turned out to be the main point of contention for local residents who spoke out against the project at LPC’s meeting on Tuesday afternoon. Neighbors were concerned about the duration and the noise caused by the excavation. A representative from the neighboring Spence School expressed concerns that construction work would disrupt schooling, and that debris might potentially endanger children playing on the outdoor space of the school.
Community Board 8 had previously recommended approval on the project, and the Landmarks Commission seemed to agree. They did however approve the project with modifications. The Commission agreed that the architect on the project, Steven Harris Architects, should ensure that the rear facade of the building clearly indicates that it’s two separate buildings instead of one mansion; and that the excavation work be setback five feet from the neighbors’ boundary. And so, yet another NYC megamansion is now ready to move forward