In 2015, New York’s landmarks law turned 50 years old. Events and discussion panels were held across the city throughout the year. The Museum of the City of New York held the commemorative Saving Place exhibit. As YIMBY reported, six individual landmarks and four historic districts were designated during this period. However, last year also saw its fair share of demolitions. Here, we look back at a small selection from the dozens of buildings that met the wrecking ball over the course of 2015. These eight structures range from architectural masterpieces to eyesores and span across a variety of decades, styles, and uses – as diverse as the Big Apple’s built environment itself.
Sam Chang’s Great Neck-based McSam Hotel Group has filed applications for a 22-story, 162-key hotel at 16 East 39th Street, in Midtown South, located a few blocks from Bryant Park and Grand Central Terminal. The building would measure 73,073 square feet in its entirety, and 66,328 square feet would be used for hotel operations. The hotel rooms would each measure an average of around 400 square feet and a lounge would be located on the top floor. SoHo-based Gene Kaufman is the architect of record. The existing 12-story, thru-block office building was subdivided into separate tax lots in October, so we’re guessing only the the 39th Street half of the building is going to be demolished, along with an adjacent three-story townhouse at 14 East 39th Street. According to The Real Deal, the properties are currently owned by ClearRock Properties and Juster Properties.
Back in May, YIMBY reported on applications for a 21-story, 71-unit mixed-use building at 145 Madison Avenue, between East 31st and 32nd Streets in Midtown South. According to DNAinfo, Kahen Properties will rent 21 of the residential units at below-market rates, which would satisfy the inclusionary housing bonus and increase the project’s allowable FAR. The latest filings call for a 59,085 square-foot structure, which includes 2,779 square feet of retail on the ground floor and residential units averaging 793 square feet each. The Stephen B. Jacobs Group is the architect of record. Permits have been approved to demolish the existing six-story commercial building.
A five-story commercial building not far from Madison Square Park will receive a much-needed restoration and full rear expansion. The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the proposal for 1145 Broadway on Tuesday.
The single-purpose commercial district is a staple of the city’s urban patchwork, whether it is the Diamond District at 47th Street and Fifth Avenue in Midtown, the Lighting District along the Bowery, or the former Radio Row in Lower Manhattan. Among these spaces, the Flower District in Midtown South is among the most unique. The concrete jungle meets the green jungle on sidewalks lined with rows of flowers and shrubbery. Yet while the District has been around for over a century, ongoing transformations are shaking its identity to the core.