Architecture firm Gensler will again appear before the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission in defense of proposals to construct a rooftop addition at One Broadway in Battery Park, Manhattan. Following lukewarm feedback from the commission, new renderings reveal an overall reduction of mass including structural height, exterior cladding, and shape.
Initial designs included a two-floor, mansard-shaped expansion with copper patina cladding that would eventually age to match the existing exterior elements on the structure’s lower levels. This round of proposals also included modifications to existing stair and elevator bulkheads intended to raise elevator shafts to the highest occupiable level, a modification that would result in greater overall ceiling heights and visible mechanicals at the rooftop level.
In proposals dated August 13, 2019, the Gensler design team has put forward a staid, rectangular extension in response to the demands of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The inventive copper patina façade has been replaced with tan-colored cast stone to more closely match the materials below the historic roof.
Alterations of existing mechanical areas also include repositioning only two elevator shafts to the highest occupiable level to help reduce overall massing of expanded areas.
The landmarked building was originally completed in 1882 as the Kennedy House, built for Earl Archibald Kennedy and his family. From 1919 to 1979, the building most famously served as corporate headquarters for the International Mercantile Marine Company, which extensively altered the building to its present Neoclassical style. Today, Citibank is the building’s only tenant, but will reportedly vacate the property this year.
Given the structure’s prominent location at the crux of Broadway, Battery Place, and Greenwich Street, current owner Midtown Equities could pursue a major interior renovation of the property into a modernized, Class-A office building. Other sources speculate that the building may be converted for residential use.