971 Lexington Avenue
Upper East Side Historic District

An altered rowhouse designed by Thom & Wilson and built in 1887-1888. Application is to install awnings and signage, and to
legalize the painting of the façade at the 1st floor without Landmarks Preservation Commission permit(s).

 

CB8 Hearing: 02/12/18 (Approved)
LPC Hearing: 04/17/18

FRIENDS’ Testimony:

The current configuration of the signage and awnings that span across two full commercial stories overwhelms the simplified façade of 971 Lexington Avenue. The proposed changes in signage greatly improve upon the current cluttered appearance.

FRIENDS appreciates that the large signage for the Center for Movement above and to the right of the main entry door will be replaced with bronze plaque signs, resembling other plaques on Lexington Avenue in the district. We similarly do not object to the design of the proposed simple bracket sign on the second story.

Our Preservation Committee also agrees that it is appropriate to shorten the width of the second-story awning and darken its color to match the awning below, against which the current teal color clashes.

Despite the positive changes being proposed in this particular application, it is important to note that this building has a history of Landmarks Violations, including, most recently, three still-active violations issued in February 2018 as well as a warning letter in regards to storefront signage installed without permits dated to September 15, 2008 that– based on information found on the LPC’s permit database–seemingly has not been addressed by the building’s owner. We do not oppose the work being proposed in this application, including legalizing the first floor painting, but FRIENDS feels that it is important not to routinely reward non-compliant alterations with leniency in regards to corrective legalization. With emphasis on the importance of maintaining features proposed in this application in the future, FRIENDS supports this application.

LPC Hearing: