A Beaux Arts style “through-type” cantilever bridge, spanning the East River between Manhattan and Queens over Roosevelt Island, designed by Henry Hornbostel and built in 1901-1908. Application is to install signs and to alter the area below the bridge.
CB8 Hearing: 01/17/17 (Interior work – Approved; Exterior signage color – Disapproved)
LPC Hearing: 01/24/17 (No Action)
FRIENDS Testimony: The Queensboro Bridge and Bridgemarket retail space is a remarkable public area which allows visitors to experience the beauty of Guastavino’s tiled vaults. The Bridgemarket may be one of the most dramatic shopping experiences in the city, and it is important that any new tenant is respectful and deferential to this unique space.
Our Preservation Committee has some reservations about the design as proposed. Specifically, we are concerned about the removal and replacement of the terra cotta tile during installation of the new lighting. In 2002, FRIENDS recognized the restoration of the Guastavino tiles with an Excellence in Conservation Award, so we are cautious about any work that may affect such a key element of this landmarked space. In addition, we find the proposed HVAC system to be unsightly and to detract from the space. Perhaps the ductwork can be smaller in diameter, or be painted in a color that will not call attention to itself. While we understand the aesthetic approach to expose mechanicals in a historic space, we feel that this choice here is not appropriate to an interior of this distinction and character. We hope that the project team can work with the LPC to devise a more sensitive solution.
In addition, we find the exterior red film and metal bracket signage to be excessive. We understand the need to obscure the interior sales floor fixtures, but either a more neutral color or the continued use of opaque glass in these sections would be preferable to the bright red film.
Overall, we hope that the applicant can work with the Commission to create a design which will be reversible and will be minimally intrusive, both visually and physically, while retaining the grand character of this retail space.