685 Washington Street

Application closed
Application approved on 07/27/10

Greenwich Village Historic District Extension

Northeast corner of Charles Street

Application:
A one-story building built in 1937. Application is to demolish the building and construct a seven-story building with a two-story penthouse.

This application is closed. Application approved July 27th, 2010.


Status as of July 27th, 2010: LATEST NEWS
At the July 27th, 2010 public hearing, the Landmarks Preservation Commission was shown a revised proposal:

The applicant had made the following changes to the design:

– The rounded corner was changed from cast stone to brick
– The cast stone band between the 5th & 6th floors was eliminated
– The balconies were reconfigured to be flush with the facade
– The storefront was changed from limestone to brick & aluminum
– The cornice was changed from cast stone to GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete)
– The lot line windows on the Washington Street facade were reconfigured

The Commission voted to approve the proposal, as long as the following changes are incorporated into the final design (these changes are to be worked out with Commission staff; the applicant will not be returning for another public meeting):

– The vertical mullions on the corner windows are to be green as opposed to white
– The cornice is to be a darker color and is to have greater depth

Status as of July 26th, 2010
:
The latest revision of this proposal is scheduled to be shown to the Landmarks Preservation Commission at a public meeting on July 27th, 2010.

Status as of February 9th, 2010:
At a public meeting on February 9th, 2010, the applicant returned to the Commission with a revised proposal:

The applicant made the following changes to the original proposal:

– Kept the height the same but removed one floor
– Simplified the ornamentation around the windows and on the rounded cast stone corner
– Removed the penthouse (though a stair/elevator bulkhead still exists on top)
– Made the lot line windows more uniform
– Introduced transom windows and awnings into the storefront
– Removed the balconies on the Washington Street facade

The Commissioner’s expressed the following questions/concerns regarding this revised proposal:

– The proposed balconies are inappropriate and have no precedent in the neighborhood, and could only work if they were the right type of balcony and if they took cues from the rest of the design
– The proposed building is composed of a conglomeration of many different styles that do not work together
– Too much cast stone makes the building seem heavy and imposing, and limestone is a poor and impractical choice for a ground floor; The architect should consider using more brick and less limestone
– The scale is alright, but in general it needs to be more graceful
– The storefronts seem to read as an extension of the residential building and not as storefronts
– The balconies do serve to break up a long, tedious fa├žade, and the Charles St facade does need something to break it up; The applicant should try using variation in materials or brickwork to do this, as opposed to balconies
– The idea of a rounded corner is fine, but there should at the very least be a change in plane so that the corner makes an interesting statement
– The cornice above the storefronts should not be broken to make room for balconies

The applicant was asked to consider these comments and return at a later date with further revisions.

Status as of January 22nd, 2008:
On January 22nd, 2008, the applicant presented a proposal to demolish an existing one-story building on the site and to construct in its place a new building:

The Commissioners made the following comments about the proposal:

– The height of the proposed building is alright, but there are too many floors squeezed in
– The ornamentation is too elaborate in a neighborhood of more utilitarian-style buildings
– The penthouse should be removed

The Commission did not approve the proposal, but rather asked the applicant to return at a later date with revisions.

2006 Designation Report, published by the Landmarks Preservation Commission when they designated the Greenwich Village Historic District Extension

ca. 1940 Tax Photo

2006 Designation Photo, taken by the Landmarks Preservation Commission when they designated the Greenwich Village Historic District Extension