A five-story commercial building not far from Madison Square Park will receive a much-needed restoration and full rear expansion. The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the proposal for 1145 Broadway on Tuesday.
The building was a residence when it was built in 1854. It was later converted into a commercial structure. It currently sits within the boundaries of the Madison Square North Historic District and, therefore, under the protection of the LPC.
Architect Joseph Smerina of New York Design Architects presented the plan. It is to repaint the façade to match the historic color, determined to be “persimmon.” The sills will be painted “Coventry gray” and the reconstructed cornice will be painted “Knoxville gray.” The windows of the upper floors will remain one-over-one, but be replaced. The second floor fenestrations will be made to resemble the condition documented in a 1940 tax photo. The first floor will also be reconfigured, including the removal of a garage door.
The current elevator will be relocated to the south side of the building so as to reduce visibility of its bulkhead. The bulkhead will be minimally visible from Broadway, but only in the context of being in front of a much taller structure.
The rear currently features a single story, but that will grow to include a rear section for floors two through five. There is no rear yard requirement, according to the applicant, meaning no waiver or variance would be required for the rear addition’s construction.
Except for Commissioner Michael Goldblum suggesting that the applicant work with the LPC staff and consider stripping the existing façade, there were no significant comments from the commissioners. The proposal was approved without objection.
It does have the endorsement of Community Board 5, though the board wished more wood was in the design. With conditions, it also got the endorsement of the Historic Districts Council. “HDC commends the proposed work on the front façade and the minimally visible rooftop bulkhead,” testified HDC’s Barbara Zay. “We ask, though, that the applicant consider stripping the brick, rather than repainting it, and that since the building is low rise, a sheet metal cornice be installed instead of the proposed fiberglass.” The proposal was approved as presented.