Curbed reports today on the saga of 114 Clinton Street. The one story art moderne building’s owner wants to convert it (meaning knock it down while saving some of the art deco facade) into a six story condo. The Landmarks Preservation Commission ain’t havin’ it:
Curbed: Right off the bat, new LPC chair Meenakshi Srinivasan pointed out that the local Community Board 2 rejected the proposal. LPC commissioner Frederick Bland, who lives in the district, pointed out that the zoning law allows a building of the proposed height, but the landmarks law allows the commission to decide what is appropriate for a historic district. He said the current structure is a “building that contributes” to the character of the district and the proposal is “completely misguided.”
Commissioner Margery Perlmutter asked why it was so necessary to add height to the existing building and didn’t see any logic behind the design. She added that the salvaging of some façade elements was not “real preservation.” Michael Goldblum said there may be some precedent for the project, but was extremely hesitant in his saying that—he really wants the height reduced. Roberta Washington wanted more of the existing building preserved. Srinivasan asked the design team to seek out other tall Art Deco buildings for inspiration.
Members of the community felt the same way as the LPC. Judy Stanton, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, said they had “significant concerns” and that the proposal would essentially remove the building and have an “irrevocable impact on a key block” in the neighborhood. She said the salvage of some existing elements was an “unsuccessful gesture.”
Heights Hero Otis Pearsall is quoted in the piece saying that the proposal has the “potential to unravel the district’s integrity.”
Curbed says the hearing resulted in no action and the design team was basically sent back to the drawing board.