Wednesday, October 13, 2010

UPDATE from the FIELD :: Boathouse bar review complete; design improved!

As reported by Mary N.

Following up on our October 1 blog post ...

This past Tuesday morning, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) met to review for the second time an application regarding the replacement of the existing bar and modification of the terrace at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park.  This Public Meeting session (meaning no public testimony was permitted) comes after the September 28th Public Hearing review of this multi-part project.  For a refresher on LW's testimony from September, click here.

We are pleased to report that the proposal underwent changes since its first presentation to the LPC, and for the better!  The project architect, taking the Commission's suggestions to heart, introduced a darker color scheme and more wood to their design (previously, metal and glass reigned supreme).  Although the design itself was kept basically intact, darker, more natural-looking materials and colors were presented at this Public Meeting. 

One of the most troubling aspects of the project at the LPC's September 28th Public Hearing was the proposed raising of the existing decking.  As one of the Commissioners noted at that time, Frederick Law Olmsted was a "master of illusion", manipulating the landscape and structures in the park to create experiences that were not true to life.  Ie: making the Lake seem larger than it is by way of manipulating vistas, etc.  Raising the terrace would have brought the location out of balance with the overall illusion intended for a visitor to the Lake and Boathouse.  The project architect responded to this point by withdrawing that aspect of the proposal.  The decking will remain at its present height!

Overall, the Commission commended the new design, pointing out that the new color scheme made the bar read more as a pergola, not as a copy of the Boathouse or an extension of the Boathouse itself.  The Commission found the new proposal to be an improvement upon the original proposal and approval was granted.

LW! and its design review committee are thrilled to have been part of the community dialogue on this project.  We believe the proposal for the bar at the Loeb Boathouse has positively improved through the review process and will be eager to re-visit the bar upon the project's completion. 

For more on LW!'s position on this project, read our statement from the Sept. 28th Public Hearing.  For information on how you can participate in our design review committee, email us our committee coordinator,

No comments: