Residents oppose Spence School’s atrium plan

December 21, 2010 02:18PM

The Spence School’s plan to build a glass atrium — that will reach up nearly 34 feet and connect the school’s main building at 22 East 91st Street to 17 East 90th Street, a mansion that it purchased two years ago — is being met with opposition by local residents of the Carnegie Hill area. However, despite this opposition, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the plan last week. Opponents believe that the connector is larger than necessary and that its design does not fit in with the area. “Glass is not a friendly neighbor,” Lo van der Valk, president of Carnegie Hill Neighbors, a preservation group, told Crain’s. However, the LPC found that the plan met its standards. “The structural and architectural integrity of the buildings will not be affected [by the connector],” said a commission spokesperson. Spence is now awaiting approval from the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals, and will also need a variance, since the proposed plan is larger than what is allowed by zoning laws. [Crain’s]