Last fall, the Landmarks Preservation Commission finally granted JHSF Participacoes, a Brazilian development company, permission to demolish 815 Fifth Avenue, the oldest building on Fifth Avenue. But with the building’s days numbered, few are mourning the loss of the historic structure.
“It had almost nothing left of its original architectural character,” Timothy Greer, the architect of the high-rise that will replace the brownstone, told the New York. “It was denuded of its original elements. It was sort of an eyesore. Oldest isn’t always best.”
The developer purchased the building, wedged between two towers, several years ago for about $32 million, according to the Times. But the developer’s plan to demolish the 143-year-old townhouse to make way for a 14-story luxury residential building were initially rejected twice.
Committee members had nixed the revisions, telling Greer that his designs were “missing the point” and that “the height is a real concern because it changes the character of the block.”
Work on the new structure is expected to begin this spring. [NYT] – Christopher Cameron