The NoMad Hotel at Broadway and West 28th Street is one step closer to getting a bit bigger. On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved an addition for the trendy hotel. That addition at 1164 Broadway will match the 147-foot height of the existing building at 1170 Broadway and is about the height of a planned hotel at 1162 Broadway.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “Isn’t there a building at 1164 Broadway right now?” the answer to your question is “Yes.” There is a four-story commercial building dating back to 1985. When the Madison Square North Historic District was designated in 2001, it was determined to have no style. Cas Stachelberg of the conservation firm Higgins Quasebarth & Partners said the plan to is to gut and re-clad it, adding eight stories (plus a penthouse) and connect it internally to the existing hotel. He said the new building will relate to the hotel, but be “of its kind” among the many “tall narrow buildings” of the district.
Architect Paul Taylor of Stonehill & Taylor has designed the new building. It will include limestone (to match the existing building), a metal frame, windows, and vertical fins. Taylor called the fins an “abstract geometric composition which is added for a little bit of delight.” The first floor will have a restaurant with a glass and metal storefront.
The extension to the hotel comes with restorative work at 1170 Broadway (and 12 West 28th Street because it shares the lot). That included the restoration of copper and masonry and the replacement of all windows. The balustrade at the top was not restored. When Commissioner Michael Goldblum asked about that, Stachelberg said that it would not be visible from the street, but would impact the use of the roof.
Commissioner Frederick Bland called the presentation and project “exemplary.” “I just love buildings like this, actually.” He added that the design is “very clever” and “fits in even as it stands out.” Commissioner Adi Shamir-Baron said it continues the profile o the historic building. Commissioner Wellington Chen said the “applicant should be commended.” Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said, “Overall, the project is great.” Commissioner Kim Vauss said she felt the new building read as too dark, but Taylor said it was due to the limitations of their presentation technology. Vauss and Goldbum were among the commissioners who wished for restoration of the balustrade, but it wasn’t enough for them or any of the other commissioners to vote it down. So, it was approved.
Community Board 5 had recommended approval of the project.
The Historic Districts Council, which represents hundreds of organizations from across the city, had some issues. “HDC does not object to the demolition of 1164 Broadway, but feels that its replacement could benefit from further study. The proposed new building, while uniform in height to both 1170 Broadway and the new building about to rise at 1162 Broadway, creates a monolithic block in this district that is characterized by its varied building heights,” HDC’s Barbara Zay said. “HDC also finds the design of the building to be somewhat frantic, yet the central section of glazing creates a large void that would benefit from a few more horizontals and verticals to avoid the appearance of a hole in the center of the building. Its limestone and black steel palette are very stark in their contrast. Perhaps a medium tone grey would help to soften this transition.”