Park Slope’s 1928 Pavilion cinema will see a new life alongside residential units, thanks to approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday. The cinema at 188 Prospect Park West (officially 187-191 Prospect Park West and 496-498 14th Street) will be reduced in size and a new residential building will replace the one-story structure next to it at 192-194 Prospect Park West. The proposal was first presented in August, but the commissioners generally wanted a reduced scale.
As in August, the presentation was made by architect Morris Adjmi and by Ward Dennis of the preservation firm Higgins Quasebarth & Partners. A big problem last time around was the size of the fifth floor. It will now be set back six feet meaning the cornice line will continue from the existing neighboring building. Additionally, the cornice has a more prominent design than before. The height of the sixth floor has also been reduced from 12 feet to 10 feet. The ground floor openings have been lifted and modified to seem more like part of a residential building and less like retail openings. The windows have also been changed to two over two. On the cinema building itself, the rooftop addition, meant to echo the tradition of rooftop gardens over theaters, is now more articulated so as to better accomplish that goal.
Though the commissioners approved the changes, they weren’t all crazy for them. Commissioner Adi-Shamir Baron preferred the previously proposed base, but Commissioner Michael Devonshire defended the changes, calling them “completely adequate.” Commissioner Diana Chapin said the “changes have been very positive.” Commissioner Michael Goldblum, however, still wasn’t convinced that the changes were good enough, citing the fifth floor as still being a problem. Commissioner Frederick Bland said the problem presented was an interesting one that has been resolved quite nicely. LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan, for her part, said the proposal fits in well and the fifth floor setback helps. It “forms a very nice transition,” she said.
Public officials were not unified on the revisions. City Council Member Brad Lander is on board with them but State Assemblyman James Brennan said they didn’t go far enough. The Park Slope Civic Council sent the commission a letter saying they didn’t approve of all of the changes.