On fifth try, Puck changes finally pass muster
Jared Kushner’s scaled-down plans for an addition to top of the landmarked SoHo building finally gets the thumbs up from the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
It looks like five times is the charm for Jared Kushner of Kushner Cos. and his plans to make additions to SoHo’s landmarked Puck Building.
The city Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously approved a scaled-back version of the developer’s plan to build atop the 203,000-square-foot, mixed-use building at 295-309 Lafayette St., at East Houston Street, on Tuesday. The approved additions are 20 feet shorter than the previous plan, courtesy of reduced ceiling heights. Meanwhile, the size has been scaled back by approximately 1,500 square feet, and the materials were changed from glass and metal to predominantly masonry and brick in order to match the existing building. The proposal also includes a restoration of the 10-story Romanesque revival-style building’s original parapet and crenellations. Mr. Kushner’s architects presented the original proposals three months ago.
All the commissioners were pleased with how far the project has come since they first saw it in September, and three subsequent times after that, according to a spokeswoman for the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
“I am very pleased with the results. We got an extension approved that allows us to go forward with a special project,” said Mr. Kushner, in a statement. “The additions to the building will further enhance one of the most iconic buildings in the world.”
“They’ve reached the target of minimalism in terms of massing,” said Landmarks Commissioner Michael Devonshire, an architectural conservator, in a statement. Landmarks Commissioner Michael Goldblum added that Mr. Kushner showed, with this version, “a tremendous willingness to exercise modesty and restraint.”
Even the local preservationists seemed pleased with the revised plans, at least for now.
“We are very glad that the Landmarks Preservation Commission listened to calls from New Yorkers to reject prior versions of this proposal, which would have overwhelmed and fundamentally changed one of our city’s most beloved landmarks,” said Andrew Berman, the executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, in a statement. “Only time will tell if the final, scaled–back version approved by Landmarks today is truly worthy of this great New York landmark.”