New School Building, 14th Street & 5th Avenue

Village Preservation led the effort to change plans by The New School to build a dramatically out-of-scale, out-of-context new facility on this site. The school originally proposed a 300+ ft. tall glass box with projecting multi-colored lights which would have risen straight up without setbacks on the site. However, such a plan would have required a zoning variance, since the zoning for the site required setbacks at various heights for new construction to ensure light and air to the street and surrounding buildings. The massive size of the plan was driven by a desire to have a huge open atrium in the center of the building which would have afforded users of the building a vast expanse of open light and air but taken it from the general public. After vocal opposition from Village Preservation and others to the plan, the school dropped it, and instead went ahead with a design that conformed to the zoning and setback/light and air requirements and eliminated the all-glass facade with projecting lights.