Landmarks rejects Fosun’s initial proposal for 28 Liberty

Commission advises that design of ground-floor and plaza be revised

Rendering of 28 Liberty Street (credit: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill)
Rendering of 28 Liberty Street (credit: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill)

The Landmarks Preservation Commission sent Fosun International back to the drawing board Tuesday after it proposed changes to the ground-floor and plaza of its famous Downtown skyscraper 28 Liberty Street — the former One Chase Manhattan Plaza.

Fosun acquired the building from JPMorgan for $725 million in 2013. It was designated a landmark in 2009, with the report calling it “among the largest and most important 20th century skyscrapers in New York City,” according to New York YIMBY.

Fosun’s redevelopment proposal, which was presented by architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, would convert the ground floor to five retail spaces, whereas it is currently dominated by office space and a bank branch.

The Plaza would be renovated to change stair access points and planters, create two elevated areas, and raise the parapet.

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The commissioners were not entirely opposed to the renovations, but many felt that the unique style of The Plaza was being sacrificed to accommodate the retail component. Concerns were expressed over the amount of glass, a proposed illuminated ceiling, and the disposal of distinct architectural qualities.

While no specific direction was given, Fosun and SOM will have to return to the commission with an alternate proposal. [NY YIMBY] — Tess Hofmann