At LANDMARK WEST! we strive to protect the built environment and sometimes that means incorporating intel from the ground.
Back in 2008, a neighbor spotted a suspiciously inappropriate rooftop addition to 12-14 West 68th Street (in the Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District, immediately north of the Hotel des Artistes at 1 West 67th Street and adjacent to the First Church of Christ, Scientist, CPW at 68th Street).
LANDMARK WEST! sprang into action, reported the structure to the Landmarks Preservation commission (LPC) and they in turn, confirmed a full fifth floor addition had been constructed without LPC approval! A long saga ensued (see timeline below) involving court dates, changes of ownership, and lots of neighbor's letters, hearings and testimony at the LPC.
But for LW's vigilance, and our community's active support (thank you!) this illegal addition to our Historic District might have slipped through the cracks. And if it can happen here, it can happen anywhere.
|12-14 West 68th Street with illegal rooftop addition|
|RED denotes former massing bulk at #12 W. 68th Street. Sloped roof below shows maximum build out of replacement rooftop addition, compliant with LPC guidelines.|
1925 Studio Building at 12 W. 68th Street is built behind 14 W. 68th Street (1895, Architect Louis Thouvard)
1990 LPC designates Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District with over 2,000 buildings, encompassing 12-14 W. 68th Street, along with the Hotel des Artists and First Church of Christ, Scientist. See our MAP.
2007 Architect Lester E. Tour files application with Department of Buildings to construct rooftop addition at 12 W. 68th Street, but fails to apply to LPC as required.
2008 Department of Buildings approves permits for "illegal" rooftop addition. LW! reports illegal construction to LPC.
2009 12 W. 68th Street owners ask LPC to "legalize" the rooftop addition; LPC declines. Owners spend next two years trying to circumvent the law.
2012 LPC requires removal of illegal rooftop addition and approves new design.
2015 Illegal 2008 addition is finally removed. Construction begins on LPC approved plan (see axon above)
|Demolition of illegal tower begins, 2015|