Saturday, June 29, 2013

Gable Gone

In April, Gossips was shocked to discover that the roof on 67-71 North Fifth Street had been completed, and although the Historic Preservation Commission had granted a certificate of appropriateness to a design that had a central gable, replicating the original house, there was no such gable in the finished roof.

At the Historic Preservation Commission meeting on Friday morning, HPC chair Rick Rector read a communication from Daniel Kent, executive director of the Galvan Foundation--the owner of the building. It expressed the intention to appear before the HPC "to discuss the status of 67-71 North Fifth Street" and "to explain why the gable was not constructed as a consequence of an oversight." So it seems the explanation Gossips reported that a faux gable was being fabricated, to be attached to the roof, was apocryphal. 

The topic of 67-71 North Fifth Street will be taken up at the HPC meeting on Friday, July 12. Kent will be asking the HPC to give a certificate of appropriateness to the building as it "turned out" instead of as the HPC had approved it. 

This isn't the first time that Galvan Partners have strayed from the design approved by the HPC. Case in point: the railings at 102 and 104 Union Street.

Galvan Partners never came back to the HPC for a certificate of appropriateness for the fancy ironwork railings. Instead they tried to use them as justification for installing similarly inappropriate railings at 113 Union Street.

The difference between 102 and 104 Union and 67-71 North Fifth--besides the magnitude of the deviation--is that Peter Wurster is refusing to issue a certificate of occupancy to 67-71 North Fifth until it either complies with what was approved by the HPC or the HPC grants a certificate of appropriateness to the building as it now is.

Interestingly, the design for 67-71 North Fifth Street still seems to be in a state of flux. In the picture of the building taken in April (above), the configuration of doors and windows on the first floor replicates the pattern of the original building, with the doors to the unit at right and the one in the center side by side. In the picture below, taken earlier this month, the door to the center unit has been moved to the middle, with two windows on either side. This move will necessitate an interior layout for the center unit that is quite different--not just a mirror image--from the other two units--something that probably never would have occurred in the 19th century.


  1. Please not back down. HPC has no teeth as it is ,to enforce.
    This is as close to a stop order, I have ever seen Code enforcer Wuster get to.
    HPC, is being given this chance to prove that the Law is the Law. It applies to everyone. I have been slowly watching, with great sadness the standards of HPC erode.
    HPC lets GalVan off the hook on this one...which was just blatant deception ...then it's game over.
    Any other Landmarked district I have ever worked in, First: construction would have never gotten this far. Second:there would be a stop order and fines ,until rectified, as to approved plans.

    How does Galvan feel about adhering to Fire and Safety Building Codes of NYS?...above the law there too?

    So insulting and absurd ,that GalVan's big Mission Statement on Historic Preservation, was to model themselves after Doris Duke's Historic Preservation Foundation in Newport R.I

  2. I hope Peter Wurster sticks to his guns on this one. The building looks worse and worse and is so far away from the aproved plan it's ludicrous.
    The original building had grace and style - this one looks like nothing.
    North 5th Street was once a beautiful avenue - it's not being helped by this building.