260 Eleventh Avenue Design Not in Context with Surrounding Buildings

Testimony to the LPC on the Certificate of Appropriateness for 260 Eleventh Avenue

January 22, 2019

First, the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) very much appreciates the thorough outreach and engagement from Vornado. We had the opportunity to see many iterations of this project and were pleased to be able to offer honest feedback at various points of the design process.

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244-260 Eleventh Avenue (also known as 557-559 West 26th Street and 558 West 27th Street) between 26th and 27th Street in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Photo: Creative Commons, Beyond My Ken. Modifications: Photo cropped and transformed to black and white.

However, we are unable to support the proposal before you today. While some members of the MAS Preservation Committee found the application to be appropriate, even great, the large majority is concerned that the cantilever is highly visible and intrusive. While a contemporary contrast is often welcome in an historic district, it must be in dialogue with its context. Instead, this design has no relationship to the assemblage of buildings under joint ownership, nor the larger district.

In sum, we respectfully ask the Landmarks Preservation Commission to work with the applicant to find a more appropriate solution for this important corner of the West Chelsea Historic District.

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