The Howard Hughes Corporation’s effort to revive the South Street Seaport is getting closer to reality. On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved revised plans for the exterior of the Fulton Market Building. That’s located at 11 Fulton Street, which occupies the block bound by Fulton, South, Beekman, and Front streets, in the South Street Seaport Historic District.
It was almost two years ago that the LPC approved the SHoP Architects-designed revamp of the 1983 structure. This tweak involves signage. The LPC can’t tell Hughes what the signs can say, but it can regulate their size.
In this case, the plan is for eight signs. Three of them will be the for coming iPic Theaters multiplex, two for the bar The Tuck Room, and three for a yet-to-be named tenant, labeled “Brand XYZ” on the plans and renderings.
Commissioner Michael Goldblum said they didn’t enhance the building, while LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said she was “not particularly proturbed.” Some commissioners expressed concern over the size of the proposed signs, when compared the existing “FULTON MARKET” signage.
Manhattan Community Board 1 voted to support the proposal. The Historic Districts Council wasn’t wild about it. “The advent of big box retail is on full display in the plans for signage, which is inappropriate in the South Street Seaport,” testified HDC’s Kelly Carroll. “The ancient street grid in this location negates the need to see signage from so far away, as this district, and much of the city, operates quite well from a pedestrian level. We urge the LPC to implore the applicant to think outside of the big box, and reduce the scale of this signage.”
In the end, the commissioners voted to approve the proposal, providing the signage is an appropriate size when compared to the existing signage, particularly with the yet-to-be named tenant. The design team will work with LPC staff to assure that.
A spokesperson for the Howard Hughes Corporation said the company has yet to determine an opening date for the revamped Fulton Market Building.
See the full presentation slides here: