The Landmarks Preservation Commission recently approved an application that will see a TriBeCa building grow in height, but not in residential unit count. 51 White Street will go from five stories with 13 units to seven stories with nine units, in addition to office space on the ground and cellar levels.
51 White Street is located between Church Street and Franklin Place, immediately east of the opaque and curvy TriBeCa Synagogue. The building, constructed in 1857 and 1858, fell under the LPC’s jurisdiction when the Tribeca East Historic District was designated in 1992.
There will be restoration work on the façades, including the removal of the front fire escape and installation of new windows. The current storefront, from the 1940s, will be replaced. The cast iron columns will be restored, the façade’s marble will be saved, and the cornice will be restored. The proposal includes the addition of two stories. The height of the parapet will be increased to reduce the visibility of the addition.
“I like this scheme,” said Commissioner Frederick Bland, but he added that it was odd to create a “fig leaf,” a reference to the barely visible rooftop addition. He wanted it clear that this cannot be a precedent.
Commissioner John Gustafsson said the plan will improve the way the side of the building looks. Commissioner Adi Shamir-Baron called it appropriate.
Commissioner Michael Devonshire took a moment to take a stab at Tuckahoe marble, calling it “one of the worst construction materials devised by God.”
Commissioner Kim Vauss said she wouldn’t ordinarily approve an application like this, but said it fits.
Even though the application was presented during a public hearing, there was no public testimony.
The commissioners, unanimously, approved the application on December 6. They did, however, mandate that the applicant coordinate with LPC staff on the work on the front façade’s marble.
View the full presentation slides here: