The Landmarks Preservation Commission will this week review updated proposals to renovate an existing commercial office building and construct a ground-up ten-story building at 122 Fifth Avenue in Union Square, Manhattan. The T-shaped property is located within the Ladies Mile Historic District and was originally completed in 1899 by architect Robert Maynicke and real estate developer Henry Corn.
Renderings from Studios Architecture focus on modifications to the new and existing building’s façade, ground-floor organization, and the canopies and marquees along Fifth Avenue, 17th Street, and 18th Street. Previous proposals also included a glass-enclosed rooftop pavilion and surrounding gardens.
Updates to the ground floor include relocation of the Fifth Avenue lobby and entrance for office tenants to 17th Street. The ground floor will also house amenity spaces for office tenants and new retail spaces that open out to all three exposures.
The façade of the new building, which faces 17th Street, will now exhibit a more rectilinear expression in all masonry elements, the canopy, and marquee. The architects also intend to restore existing spandrels above the pedestrian entry and install additional spandrels above the second and third floors compared to previous renderings. The design team has also selected a darker mix of stone materials for the cornice and spandrel structures.
Along 18th Street and Fifth Avenue, the architects have reworked retail entrances which are now more integrated into the existing building’s historic bay windows.
In December 2020, Community Board 5 recommended that the Landmarks Preservation Commission deny the project team a Certificate of Appropriateness. The board argued that the physical texture of the cornice, the windows, the façade, and the canopy of the new property were flat and overly modern in comparison to the existing structure.
Illustrations from Studios Architecture appear to have answered each of these criticisms.
The design team is scheduled to present new plans to the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday, March 23 in a virtual public hearing. Given the area’s historic designation, Bromley Companies, the real estate investment firm behind the applications, will need a certificate of appropriateness from the Commission.