LPC Unanimously Approves ‘Animated, Alive’ Design for Empty Lot in Fulton Ferry District

Rendering by NV/design.architecture

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A revamped proposal for a one-story brick commercial building on a long-empty lot in the Fulton Ferry Historic District received unanimous, celebratory approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday morning.

“I think this is a terrific scheme,” said Commissioner Fred Bland, adding that the new design for the proposed structure is “animated, alive.” He noted that this area is “my hood” and that he walks past the site every morning, which gives him a special interest in the project.

Bland’s comments were echoed by the rest of the commissioners, who praised the design for creating “a solid building that feels light” and that “fits in beautifully” with the rest of the surrounding neighborhood.

Rendering by NV/design.architecture

Rendering by NV/design.architecture

A previous, mostly glass design by Snohetta was approved by the LPC in 2014 but never moved forward. The new one is predominantly red brick, with large arches on the Old Fulton-facing side, that takes its cues from neighboring buildings. The new team behind the design is NV/design.architecture, who said at the hearing that the building will have two retail spaces—one already destined for a coffee shop, the other still waiting for a tenant. The firm also designed another building across the street at 9 Old Fulton Street.

20 old fulton street

The site in January 2020. Photo by Susan De Vries

rendering

The 2014 proposal. Rendering by Snøhetta via Landmarks Preservation Commission via Yimby

On one side of the property is the historic Eagle warehouse. On the other side is a co-op at 7 Everit Street, a converted industrial building that may date to the 19th century but was stuccoed over and altered to match the early 20th century industrial buildings nearby. Robert Pumo, a resident of 7 Everit Street and representing the members of the co-op, supported the design during public testimony.

“The original design was approved in my first few minutes on the commission,” noted Commissioner John Gustafsson. “If I had to do it over again, having seen this, I would have never agreed to the first design. This is just fantastic.”

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