The Landmarks Preservation Commission will again review proposals to partially renovate the ground floor of the historic Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank. The building is located at 49-51 Chambers Street in the Civic Center and could eventually house an immersive digital museum and gallery with rotating exhibitions.
This new iteration of proposals provides updates to light and soundproofing, the preservation of existing historic artifacts, and interior circulation. If approved, the project would debut as a Culturespaces Digital Art Center. The premiere exhibition, titled “Hall Des Lumieres,” would comprise a collection of 3D projections of works by Austrian painter Gustav Klimt.
To better insulate the anticipated light and sound the exhibition will create, the design team has proposed an interior curtain system along the Chambers Street elevation. As opposed to previous proposals, the windows along this boundary will no longer be blocked out and will remain uncovered at all times.
The design team will also reduce the number of historic artifacts eliminated from within the building’s main floor space. Original proposals called for the removal of ornate interior masonry to make space for a new coat room and gift shop.
Outside the structure, signage will be reduced to minimize obscuration of the building’s historic façade.
The project team includes Australian design studio Woods Bagot, Culturespaces, a French design group that specializes in the adaptive reuse of historic buildings into video-powered canvases, and IMG, a global sports, entertainment, and media company.
A public hearing for the project took place on Tuesday, July 12, 2020. It remains to be seen when the project might open to the general public.