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837 Washington Street – Is the Fifth Time the Charm?

A revised iteration of the proposal to build a towering addition atop the 1938 Moderne-style building at 837 Washington Street in the Gansevoort Market Historic District will be shown today to the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Check back this afternoon for photos of the latest plans!

The proposed design for 837 Washington Street, as presented to the Landmarks Preservation Commission on November 9th, 2010

This will be fifth time the LPC has seen a proposal for this building over the course of nearly three years, and we’re wondering how things will pan out this time around for what has proven to be a very challenging project.

837 Washington Street today

Back in July of 2008, SubenDougherty Architecture + Design presented the initial proposal for the building, which would have capped it with four additional stories and a lot of greenery:

July 2008 proposal by Suben Dougherty Architecture + Design

Not thrilled with this, the LPC asked for some changes. Two months later they got to see it slightly revised, but still weren’t 100% satisfied. Finally, in March 2009, the architects came up with this:

March 2009 revised proposal

There was never a final agreement between the LPC and the developer on a revised design.  A year and a half later, the property had changed hands, with a new  developer and architect.  Thus last November, Morris Adjmi and Taconic Investment Partners came up with a new plan for the site that would involve seven additional twisting stories:

November 2010 proposal by Morris Adjmi

An interesting concept indeed, but the LPC appeared to agree with us that approval of a seven-story addition in a historic district with a the great preponderance of significant two-to-three story buildings might not be the best idea (no formal vote was taken, but the feedback the Commissioners gave the applicant seemed to strongly indicate this). Gansevoort Market was never a high-rise district, and we shutter to think what could happen if all those buildings suddenly tripled in height.

So like his predecessors, Adjmi was sent back to the drawing board. The LPC specifically asked that he lower the addition significantly. We’re very curious to see what he’s come up today, and will be posting photos and well as information about the LPC’s decision as soon as we have more news.

And remember, you can always find out the status of all landmarks applications in Greenwich Village, NoHo, the East Village and Gansevoort Market by visiting our Landmarks Application Webpage.

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