The $300 million project faces a hurdle after a city commission voted to consider the structure for protected status
Following a recommendation from research staff, New York City’s Landmarks and Preservation Commission (LPC) has unanimously voted to put Philip Johnson’s contentious AT&T Buildingon the path towards becoming a protected landmark. The calendaring approved today, the first formal step in the designation process, is a promising sign, although 550 Madison Avenue must now face a public hearing sometime in the next few months and further deliberations from the commission before a full vote.
Commissioners at the Monday meeting took their time after the presentation to deliberate on the unique factors that they would need to take into consideration before making a decision. If landmarked, Johnson’s tower, completed in 1984, would beat out the former Citicorp Buildingat 601 Lexington Avenue to become the youngest landmarked building in the city. Citing the AT&T Building’s size, prominent Midtown location, impact on the history of postmodernism, and Johnson’s legacy as the first winner of the Pritzker Prize, commissioners spoke of the building’s importance to the history of New York City.
David Laurie, Managing Director at Chelsfield America, a development partner for the 550 Madison Avenue renovation, reached out ... with the following statement.
“We support the calendaring decision by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to protect the special architectural aspects of 550 Madison Avenue, which we are as committed to as ever following our conversations with community stakeholders.
“We are committed to creating a rejuvenated 550 Madison that retains its important presence, works for future tenants, and realizes long-promised public amenities to the larger Midtown community. And we look forward to further collaborating with the LPC to make that happen.”
With the AT&T Building now potentially on its way towards reaching protected status, it remains to be seen how much of developer Olayan America and Snøhetta’s current scheme will actually be implemented. AN will be following this story as it develops.