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News February 2011

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Manufacturers Trust Company wins interior landmark designation

February 15, 2011

Following unanimously favorable testimony at a February 1 designation hearing, the NYC Landmarks Commission voted on the matter at its February 15 Public Meeting. The Commission voted unanimously in favor of interior designation.

The commissioners consistently noted the critical relationship of the interior to the exterior. One called the interior designation a “continuation of the previous designation,” while others stated that the interior should have been designated along with the exterior. (If it had been, the removal of the Bertoia screen and other interior fixtures—e.g. teller counters, planters—could have been averted; as it is, reference to those items was deleted from the interior description in the motion to designate.)

The commissioners observed that while some interior finishes have been removed, they could be readily restored, and Commission Chairman Robert Tierney, perhaps hopefully, referred to the Bertoia screen’s absence “for the time being.” The building owner was congratulated for its willingness to support interior designation, while another commissioner expressed hope that the interior will remain accessible to the public; Chair Tierney noted that he expected that it will, “as long as you bring money.”

DOCOMOMO NY/Tri-State will monitor further developments, including the expected Certificate of Appropriateness hearing concerning the owner’s proposed modifications for retail tenancy.

photo: Ezra Stoller © Esto