A rendering of the building via Eric Safyan, Architect P.C.

By Mark Bollettieri

A proposal to build a rear-yard addition to the building at 44 West 95th Street was rejected by Community Board 7 earlier this month, but for residents of the neighboring building the fight is not over yet.

The issue will be heard by the Landmarks Preservation Commission on November 15th. The Community Board plays a strictly advisory role, so if the Landmarks Preservation Commission approves the proposal, the rear-yard addition will be built.

Residents of the neighboring building at 46 West 95th Street have created a petition to block the proposed development because it will obstruct their living-room windows. One such resident, Francesca Dindo, is permanently disabled and wheelchair bound. “We will lose an incredible amount of light and air,” she said at the Community Board meeting. “I can’t tell you how much sleep I’ve lost thinking about this.”

Residents of 46 West 95th Street plan to make the case that the windows in question are a significant architectural feature that ought to be protected by the Landmarks Preservation Committee. Ian Mackler, an attorney that lives in 46 West 95th Street, stated in a letter to the LPC that the windows were designed by the architecture firm Carrère & Hastings in 1923 as a response to the New Tenement Law of 1901, which required exterior facing windows to be placed in the rear of tenements to allow light and air to penetrate into homes. Mackler argues that blocking those windows amounts to disregarding their unique historical significance.

A rendering of the rear yard addition from Eric Safyan, Architect P.C.

Although the proposed development will block these windows, it does meet the 8-foot width zoning requirement for side yards. As such, it is unclear whether the LPC will consider Mackler’s argument pertinent to their review.

Members of the Community Board were sympathetic to the residents’ concerns. Multiple board members called the proposal “egregious” and urged residents to testify at the Landmarks Hearing on November 15th.

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 2 comments | permalink
    1. dannyboy says:

      CB7 recognized that access to light and air are to be protected. Good work.

    2. Gina says:

      Unfortunately during transactions such as this
      that is happening all over the City,
      when it becomes public, in many instances
      the deal is signed sealed and delivered.
      Always based on the influence of
      Powerful individuals. Time will tell.

      Years ago many of you recall, Modana
      fort tooth and nail to prevent a build
      that was being built blocking her daughter’s bedroom from
      Sunlight located near Central Park, she has
      a few $$$$$ , she lost. Believe she still lives there.