It’s rare that a proposal to dramatically change a landmarked building sails right through the Landmarks Preservation Commission, much less gets described as “flawless.”
But that’s precisely what happened at Tuesday’s LPC meeting when the Commission unreservedly approved the bold design for 9 Dekalb Avenue — a project that will integrate the landmarked Dime Savings Bank with a new 1,066-foot-tall skyscraper, Brooklyn’s first above 1,000 feet. In fact, the LPC was enraptured with the proposal, according to 6sqft.
Developers JDS Development and Chetrit Group officially closed on the Dime Savings Bank and its 300,000 square feet of air rights in late 2015 for $90 million. They then engaged SHoP Architects — the creative minds behind some of the largest developments in Brooklyn — to design a tower that would integrate with the historic building.
Notably, it is landmarked inside and out. (Interior landmarks are rare.)
SHoP’s design turns the former bank into four stories of retail and office space for a single future tenant. But to connect the old building with the new, SHoP needed approval to tear down a pair of annexes — a one-story structure and a five-story structure — at the rear of the building. The LPC is not known for approving demolition of landmarked structures, even in part.
LPC officials called the proposal “enlightened urbanism at its best,” and said it “improved the vision of this historic landmark,” according to 6sqft. The LPC did not approve a request to remove the bank’s teller counters, saying they would consider the matter after a tenant is found and plans presented, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.
Already one of Brooklyn’s greatest buildings, the Dime Savings Bank will get a full interior and exterior renovation, including restoration of the rotunda and original marble floors, the addition of new marble floors, rearranged teller counters, and new double-paned windows.
The tower design for the adjacent 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension site is unusual. Rising 73 stories, its shape was inspired in part by the hexagonal footprint of the Dime Savings Bank and strategically arranged so as to not block the light and views of the bank’s iconic dome. The dark vertical lines of the building also echo some of the bank’s architectural details.
The tower’s main materials — inspired again by the bank — will include white marble, crystal gray vision glass, bronzed metal and blackened stainless steel.
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