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Harry Potter signage for landmarked building fails to cast spell over community board

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Plus, a dispatch from the Squirrel Census—and more intel in today’s New York Minute news roundup.

935 Broadway in the Flatiron District.
Nicholas Strini/PropertyShark

Good morning, and welcome to New York Minute, a new roundup of the New York City news you need to know about today. Send stories you think should be included to tips@curbed.com.

Muggles bristle at dragon in Flatiron District

Designers behind a Wizarding World shop planned for the corner of Broadway and East 22nd Street aim to cast a spell on Harry Potter fans with fantastical signage, including a fiberglass dragon, but locals are not impressed with the out-of-this-world displays for the landmarked building, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Manhattan Community Board 5’s landmarks committee unanimously voted against design firm Studio Superette’s request on behalf of Warner Bros. Entertainment to make several alternations to the exterior of the six-story Italianate brownstone at 935 Broadway. Aside from the dragon, the design also calls for two backlit Harry Potter signs and six “wand-style” flagpoles made out of antique brass, according to the WSJ.

The landmarks committee’s motion to reject the signage will go on to the full board on January 16 before continuing to the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. The community board’s actions are not binding but instead are advisory to the commission, which has final say over changes made to city landmarks.

And in other news...

  • Hundreds of buildings slapped with safety violations still lack sidewalk sheds or other safety measures months after city inspectors spotted risks.
  • A 10-year-old boy, a 68-year-old woman, and a 51-year-old man were fatally struck by vehicles in separate crashes on Tuesday. The spate of accidents brings the number of pedestrians killed by motorists in the city to five in the new year—marking a gory start to 2020 after at least 122 people were killed walking on city streets last year.
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a three-year ban for sex offenders who repeatedly violate riders on the city’s subway system as part of his 2020 State of the State agenda.
  • Ben Kabak of Second Avenue Sagas digs into the analysis behind the Cuomo-backed Laguardia Airtrain.
  • And finally, for all you squirrel lovers out there, a delightful dispatch from the squirrel census.