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Efforts to landmark 114-year-old Nomad building scuttled by LPC

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316 Fifth Avenue is poised to sprout a 40-story condo with 27 apartments


Efforts on part of local elected officials and preservationists to landmark a 114-year-old Beaux Arts building in Nomad have been scuttled by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Last month, State Senators Brad Holyman and Liz Krueger wrote to the LPC to consider landmarking the Kaskel & Kaskel Building at 316 Fifth Avenue, which is slated to be replaced by a 40-story condo building designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox.

This week Senator Holyman’s office shared the LPC’s response with Curbed. In it, LPC Chair, Meenakshi Srinivasan says the Commission deemed the building ineligible in three previous studies of the neighborhood, and then detailed the Commission’s reasonings against designation.

The prominent changes the Commission identified include, “alternations at the roofline including the removal of a prominent historic cornice on two facades, and extensive changes at the ground floor,” which the Commission said, “substantially reduced the historic integrity of the Kaskel & Kaskel building.”

Srinivasan also added that its characteristics as a small Beaux Arts commercial building were adequately represented within the Madison Square North and Ladies’ Mile Historic Districts and pointed to the Knox building at 40th Street and Fifth Avenue, as an example.

Srinivasan did acknowledge that the Commission had received several letters in support of designating the building, but went on to add that, “the agency determines eligibility for individual landmark designation based on long established standards, and given the above considerations we have determined that 316 Fifth Avenue does not rise to the level of an individual landmark.”

The developer of the condo set to replace the Kaskel & Kaskel building, Cottonwood Management, has already filed plans with the Department of Buildings, and it shows that the 40-story building will come with just 27 apartments and retail on the lower floors.