Yesterday the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to deny the application to legalize the changes that have been made to the interior of the former Gage and Tollner Restaurant on Fulton Street. The landmarked interior once housed an Arby’s (pictured left) and is now home to a discount jewelry store (pictured right). Only one month after the jewelry store opened the biz faced fines for covering up the interior without landmark’s permission. As Curbed reported yesterday, at the hearing the applicant explained that the jewelry store installed a display and lighting system that doesn’t penetrate any of the walls, but covers up just about all the landmarked historic detail. A few fixtures, like the gas lamps, remain and an arch has been removed and placed in storage. According to the LPC spokesman, the building owner’s architect described these changes as “interior desecration” and apologized on behalf of the tenants.
As you can guess, the LPC was concerned about the cover-up. Commission Vice Chair Pablo E. Vengoechea said, “hiding something behind something is not a preservation strategy. We designated this [space] in order to be able to see it … You need to expose what’s there.” Commissioner Michael Goldblum added, “There is no excuse at all for this being the way this is, period.” Commission Chair Robert B. Tierney said there is no way to legalize such dramatic changes, “but maybe we can come up with a way to do it.” The tenant now has to submit a new plan and file a permit application for the interior.
Landmarks Denies Changes at Gage & Tollner Space [Curbed]