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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Carter's View

The Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a hearing tomorrow on the possible designation as landmarks of two west midtown buildings that are part of a major mixed-use assemblage of Extell Development.

The two buildings, one 12-stories high at 1780 Broadway and the other 8-stories at 220 West 57th Street were designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw and connected at the rear at the base in an L-shaped configuration.

Extell also owns other adjacent properties that extend east to the Art Students League building on 57th Street.

Last August 11, the Municipal Art Society of New York testified before the commission in support of the designation of the two buildings that were built for the B. F. Goodrich Company in 1909. The society had urged the commission in 2004 to designate both buildings and "were particularly concerned about the fate of the 57th Street facade."

"While the Broadway building was used by B. F. Goodrich as its headquarters, the 57th Street building was rented out to other automobile-related companies like Stoddard Dayton. The fact that the 57th Street building was built for speculative purposes in no way lessens its architectural and historical significance....Despite their different heights, the two buildings make use of identical materials and are both designed in a style that can best described as the Chicago-style influence on Viennese Secessionism (or vice versa), a combination not seen anywhere else in New York City. Shaw's interpretation and adaptation of these blended architectural styles differs slightly on each building, making the pair all the more interesting architecturally," the society argued.

The New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, however, told the commission that the 57th Street building did not have "the same panache" as the Broadway building and it therefore did not merit designation.

"As representatives of a professional society of architects concerned with both the past and the future, it is hard for us to ignore the likelihood that a significant new structure will be built at this extremely important location. In today's recession, not many are planning the landmarks of the future. Those that are, including the presenters from Extell, should be encouraged in their efforts to save and preserve the landmark quality of 1780 Broadway. They should not be burdened by the retention of a much less significant building such as 225 West 57th Street," the chapter argued.

An article today by Elliot Brown of said that the designation of both buildings is "a move that Extell says would force it to scrap the giant mixed-use tower it has planned for the site," adding that Extell has enlisted "unions and four powerful elected officials to push back at the designations."

According to Mr. Brown, Extell is promoting a compromise that would involve the designation of only 1780 Broadway and not the 57th Street building.

"Extell has told others involved in the discussions that the company believes its compromise plan has the support of the commission's chair, Robert Tierney, though how many of the other votes it will get remains unclear," Mr. Brown wrote.

Additional Info About the Building

Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.