A commercial building in the Meatpacking District is set to get some rooftop art. Last Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a proposal to install an art mural on the side of a bulkhead atop 875 Washington Street, located between West 13th Street and West 14th Street in the Gansevoort Market Historic District.
The five-story-tall structure was designed by James W. Cole and built in 1887. It fell under the jurisdiction of the LPC when the historic district was designated in 2003.
The art installation proposal was presented by of Richard Moses and Jared Cole of Midtown South-based Howard L. Zimmerman Architects, P.C. The surface is the south side of a non-historic rooftop bulkhead, measuring 33 feet in width by 14 feet in height, or 462 square feet. Its primary purpose is to enliven the environment for those using a previously-approved roof deck.
It will be minimally visible from both Washington Street and West 13th Street, but will be substantially visible from the High Line. The art itself will be two-dimensional, done with paint or vinyl.
Commissioner Michael Devonshire called the proposal an “admirable effort,” but was concerned that it would become “an artistically done Joe Fresh billboard.” Moses informed him that advertising is not planned. Commissioner Diana Chapin said the commission should foster art where it can.
Manhattan Community Board 2 recommended against approval. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s Sarah Bean Apmann testified that GVSHP supports the proposal, provided that the LPC staff review all content and that there be no advertising.
The commission approved the proposal, which is actually a master plan that will last six years. The commission staff will review new content and records will be kept of every installation.