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Proposed Exterior Proposed Exterior
Within the heart of the massive Upper West Side-Central Park West Historic District, the Roe Corporation wants to build an 8-story (96 ft.) residential building with seven condominium units at 466-468 Columbus Avenue. The section of Columbus Avenue is characterized by beautifully renovated tenements punctuated by ornate apartment hotels, and the American Museum of Natural History only one block away. The 50-foot wide, mid-block site would require the demolition of a three-story commercial building, which had its new facade and top floor approved by Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) in 2006.
Extisting blockfront with 3-story commercial building at the site
The developer has tapped the contextually-attuned designers at BKSK Architects for the design. Yesterday, firm partner, Harry Kendall presented to the LPC a modern masonry structure clad in red brick with terra cotta louvers encircling its windows. The multi-layered exterior would be arranged within three bays, and the ground floor would host two glassy storefronts with a residential entrance along its northern edge. The building's first seven floors would be topped by a corbel-ed cornice. The eighth floor is setback from the street-wall and would host a glass-fronted penthouse, topped by a curved modern cornice.
The commission had no issue with the demolition of the existing building and overall praised BKSK's design for its architectural character. The commissioners did feel the height of the building may be slightly too tall for the consistently scaled, 5-story block-front. Despite the architects making the case that the inconsistent heights are common throughout the district, the commissioners felt a height reduction would result in a better building. The chair also disapproved of the canopy, and called the storefronts generic and suburban. The commissioners also suggested the building's brick and terra-cotta facade should continue down to the street-level. They ultimately decided to review the revisions in a follow-up public meeting.
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