Rooftop additions are the hot new accessory in Upper West Side real estate. The Apthorp on 79th street and Broadway may be the most famous building looking to add more apartments on the roof, but it’s certainly not the only one. Here are a few of the buildings where owners have been trying to add apartments on the roof.
The owners of the seven-story building at 101 West 78th street on the corner of Columbus Avenue are attempting to add two more stories. They presented their plans at a Landmarks Preservation Commission meeting in July. The building went up in 1886 and the owners say a two-story addition was actually approved in the 1890’s, according to a publication called City Land, which covered the LPC meeting.
“The proposed addition would be clad in zinc, while a brick bulkhead would rise an additional story. Glass railings would surround the accessible rooftop areas. Portions of the addition would be visible from multiple viewpoints from public thoroughfares.”
But Community Board 7 recommended denial, and the design was criticized by Councilwoman Gale Brewer and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal.
“An Evelyn tenant said the building would be ‘desecrated’ by the addition, and likened the design to “a rooftop bus terminal.” Numerous other area residents decried the addition’s bulk and visibility, and other neighbors said the addition would negatively affect the reach of light and air to their dwellings.”
The preservation commission urged the applicants to go back to the drawing board.
The historic building at 340-344 West 72nd street sold last year for $150 million and now the new owner HFZ Capital is proposing extensive renovations, including a rooftop addition (half the building is rent-stabilized, so the developer is clearly looking for other ways to make money).
The Chatsworth, at Riverside Drive, was built in 1904 and got landmark designation in 1984. The plan goes before Community Board 7’s preservation committee on Thursday night at 6:30. The meeting is at community board offices, on the second floor of 250 west 87th street (just West of Broadway). Update, 10/10: The West End Preservation Society tells us the CB7 Chatsworth hearing has been postponed.
Opponents are already mobilizing, airing concerns about the dust and pollution that construction would create. The developer could be in for a tussle. The residents at the Chatsworth once sued Donald Trump over the possibility that Riverside South would block their views, Curbed notes.
The condo building at 54 West 74th street that houses Pioneer supermarket is also looking to add a rooftop addition. The owners of “The Forum” recently put up orange netting to show the landmarks commission the visual impact of the addition. A meeting was scheduled at the LPC to discuss the addition last month, but it was postponed. The building was built in 1902-03. Thanks to Geoff for the tip.
At a meeting last week the community board recommended that the Apthorp’s rooftop addition be denied. Harriet Flehinger attended one of the committee meetings and sent us this dispatch:
“More than 100 people crowded into the space to protest, mostly current residents of the Apthorp and people living in buildings directly facing it. The committee was very even-handed and allowed everyone to speak. In the end, the committee agreed that some infusion of capital to the sponsors was required to provide funding for all the work which needs to be done on the building, but that they would reject the current proposal as too large and bulky and not in keeping with the feel of the landmark building. They left it open for the sponsors to come back with a new plan, saying they were not totally opposed to something being built there.”
The LPC has the final say over whether it will be approved. They were supposed to discuss the Apthorp on Tuesday, but that discussion is expected to be postponed. The rendering of the proposed addition is below, with the before picture on top and the after picture at the bottom: