New details revealed about plan for Children’s Museum on 96th Street

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The Children’s Museum planned for 96th Street and Central Park West will try to keep as much of the historic church in which it will be housed, according to documents revealed at a recent community board meeting. A memorandum released by the building architects is below.

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This memorandum outlines the proposed scope of work to be reviewed by the Preservation Committee of Manhattan Community Board (CB) 7 at their December 12th, 2019 meeting. The submission to CB7 will include:

  •   Signed NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) Application Form
  •   Presentation Deck, dated December 6th, 2019, prepared by FXC
  •   LPC Designation Report for the former First Church of Christ Scientist
  •   Confirmation of posting CB7 Committee Meeting notices, in accordance with CB7 requirementsLPC and CB7 SchedulesAt this time, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) seeks to present the project at the January 14th, 2020 LPC Public Hearing. The team understands that the CB7 Preservation Committee resolution will need to be ratified by CB7’s Full Board at the January 7th, 2020 Full Board Meeting. CMOM requests that CB7’s resolution be delivered to LPC prior to the January 14th Public Hearing.Department of Buildings Filing StatusThe proposed scope of work is to be as-of-right and will not require any variances from the Board of Standards and Appeals. An initial Alteration Type 1 filing submission has been made to the Department of Buildings. DOB issued comments on 10/21/2019. The team is working with the DOB to clear the (4) administrative zoning objections before the LPC Public Hearing.Building HistoryDesigned by the noted firm of Carrère & Hastings, Architects for the First Church of Christ, Scientist, the Beaux-Arts style building located at 1 West 96th Street (aka 361 Central Park West) was constructed between 1899 and 1903. The building is notable for its austere exterior of white Concord granite, with robust moldings, and an unusual pyramidal spire. It is a load-bearing masonry structure with steel framing used for floor spans, and steel trusses for spanning the Sanctuary and for roof framing. The fenestration includes stained and leaded glass windows in bronze frames, featuring biblical scenes and ornamental borders, whose design attribution has not been verified; extant contracts point to the fabrication of these windows by the Decorative Stained Glass Company of New York.The building, which served as the First Church’s house of worship from 1903 to 2004, was designated an individual New York City Landmark on July 23, 1974. The building subsequently served as the sanctuary for the Crenshaw Christian Center East, after which it was sold to a developer for a proposed repurposing to

ARCHITECTURE AND PRESERVATION, 50 BROADWAY, 33RD FLOOR, NY, NY 10004.1691 TEL: 212.941.1838 FAX: 212.941.1834

Children’s Museum of Manhattan
Narrative Summary for CB7 Preservation Committee

residential use. In 2018, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan purchased the building as the institution’s future home.
LPC Commission Level Review Scope
The intent of the proposed design is to retain as much historic fabric as possible at the granite “shell” (including all historic masonry window openings), to construct an occupiable space addition with mechanical equipment and bulkheads at the roof, to lower the sills of the four principal entrances on Central Park West and West 96th Street to provide barrier free access, to replace the existing bronze & stained glass windows with new bronze & clear insulated glass windows and to sensitively integrate modifications and upgrades needed to address function and code requirements for the proposed institutional (museum) use. The adaptive use of this individually landmarked building will promote its long-term stewardship. A restorative scope of work is also anticipated to be reviewed by LPC Staff as part of a separate application.

 Central Park West Façade
o Doors:relocatethree(3)setsofhistoricCircassianwalnutdoorstotheinteriorvestibules;

remove and salvage the historic transom and granite steps; lower the sills to provide barrier free access; install new metal and glass paneled doors in the enlarged masonry openings; and reinstall the salvaged transom. Provide building identification signage etched on the glass panels. Perform repairs to the granite base (exposed after removal of treads and risers) as required.

o MonumentalBronzeWindowwithStainedGlass:Removeandsalvagehistoricbronzeframe and stained-glass window (potential donation). Install new thermally broken bronze frame and clear insulated glass window in existing masonry opening. New bronze frame to match the detailing, material, configuration, finish and glazing area of the historic frame.

o LargeRectangularBronzeWindowswithOrnamentalBordersatNortheastandSoutheast Corner Stair Halls: Remove and salvage two (2) historic bronze frame and stained-glass windows (potential donation). Install new thermally broken bronze frame and clear insulated glass windows in existing masonry openings. New bronze frame to match the detailing, material, configuration, finish and glazing area of the historic frame.

o RectangularBronzeWindowswithClearGlass:Removeandsalvageseven(7)historic bronze frame and clear-glass windows (potential donation). Install new thermally broken bronze frame and clear insulated glass windows in existing masonry openings. New bronze frame to match the detailing, material, configuration, finish and glazing area of the historic frame.

 West 96th Street Facade
o Doors: Relocate one (1) set of historic Circassian walnut doors to the interior vestibule;

remove and salvage the historic transoms and granite steps; lower the sill to provide barrier free access; and install new metal and glass paneled doors in the enlarged masonry opening. Provide building identification signage etched on the glass panels. Perform repairs to the granite base (exposed after removal of treads and risers) as required. Remove non-historic awning.

o MonumentalArchedBronzeWindowswithStainedGlass:Removeandsalvagethree(3) historic bronze frame and stained-glass windows (potential donation). Install new thermally broken bronze frame and clear insulated glass windows in existing masonry openings. New bronze frame to match the detailing, material, configuration, finish and glazing area of the historic frame.

o SmallBronzeWindowwithOrnamentalBorderatSouthwestCornerStairHall:Removeand salvage historic bronze frame and stained-glass window (potential donation). Install new thermally broken bronze frame and clear insulated glass window in existing masonry opening. New bronze frame to match the detailing, material, configuration, finish and glazing area of the historic frame.

Li/Saltzman Architects 2 December 6, 2019

Children’s Museum of Manhattan
Narrative Summary for CB7 Preservation Committee

o BronzeOculusWindows:Removethree(3)historicbronzeframeandplate-glasswindows. Install new thermally broken bronze frame and clear insulated glass windows in existing masonry openings. New bronze frame to match the detailing, material, configuration, finish and glazing area of the historic frame.

o Garage:Removeexistingskylightandinstallingnewroofing;Removeanon-historicroll- down garage door and install new metal doors in the existing masonry opening.

 Roof
o Newrooftopadditionfeaturingaone-storyWorkshop/Performancespaceandmetal

framed glass loggia at the 6th floor; a new Terrace with metal railings (7th floor); and new elevator and stair bulkheads, and mechanical equipment, including sound attenuation screening.

o ClayTile:Removethenon-historicEPDMmembraneroofing,installingnew6’-4”sloped, red clay tile roof to match historic roof at base edge of proposed addition.

o HistoricMonitorSkylight,CopperBulkheads,andSelectGraniteBalustrades(atEastand West of Tower) to be removed.

 Tower
o WoodScreens:Restoreorfabricatefour(4)newwoodscreenstomatchmaterial,

articulation, and appearance of historic wood screens.
o MasonryOpeningsatSteeple:Installfour(4)newlouversinexistingmasonryopenings.o Three(3)non-historicmetaldoorstoberemoved.

 Secondary (North and West) Elevations
o RectangularBronzeWindowwithOrnamentalBorderatSouthwestCornerStairHall:

Remove and salvage one (1) historic bronze frame and stained-glass window (potential donation). Install new thermally broken bronze frame and clear insulated glass windows in existing masonry openings. New bronze frame to match the detailing, material, configuration, finish and glazing area of the historic frame.

o MonumentalArchedBronzeWindows:Removeandsalvagethree(3)historicbronzeframe and stained-glass windows (potential donation). Install new thermally broken bronze frame and clear insulated glass windows in existing masonry openings. New bronze frame to match the detailing, material, configuration, finish and glazing area of the historic frame.

o SmallBronzeWindowwithOrnamentalBorderatNortheastCornerStairHall:Removeand salvage historic bronze frame and stained-glass window (potential donation). Install new thermally broken bronze frame and clear insulated glass window in existing masonry opening. New bronze frame to match the detailing, material, configuration, finish and glazing area of the historic frame.

o BronzeOculusWindows:Removethree(3)historicbronzeframeandplate-glasswindows. Install new thermally broken bronze frame and clear insulated glass windows in existing masonry openings. New bronze frame to match the detailing, material, configuration, finish and glazing area of the historic frame.

 Building Identification and Wayfinding Signage
o IdentificationsignageisplannedonthemainentrancedoorsonCentralParkWestandWest

96th Street. Sizes will be at or under the 12sf allowed by zoning.o Two(2)8’Wx27’Hbannersareproposedontheeastfaçade.

 Exterior Lighting
o Newexteriorlightingisdesignedtoencourageengagementandexploration,while

acknowledging the historic use of the building. Lighting will respect the residential neighborhood context with minimal light spill and low glare luminares.

Li/Saltzman Architects 3 December 6, 2019

Children’s Museum of Manhattan
Narrative Summary for CB7 Preservation Committee

 Excavation
o Thecellarandsub-cellarlevelsareproposedtobeexcavatedtoprovidebelow-gradeexhibit

and support, as well as mechanical, spaces.

Li/Saltzman Architects 4 December 6, 2019

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