Located at the northeast corner with West Street, the six-story hotel was designed by Julius Munckwitz and completed in 1898. Once a hot spot for visiting sailors, it became a city individual landmark in 2007. Sadly, time and the floodwaters of Hurricane Sandy have not been kind to the structure, and it has sat dormant for years.
Now, plans from William Gottlieb Real Estate to revive it, in conjunction with a new seven-story hotel and residential building next door at 144 Barrow Street, can move forward. The design work comes from architect Morris Adjmi, who worked with preservation consultant Elise Quasebarth of Higgins Quasebarth & Partners.
The work will include general façade restoration, the installation of new windows, new wood storefronts, preservation work for cast-iron columns, and the re-introduction of a long-lost limestone portico. As the site is in flood zone one, there will also be removable flood barriers.
The sticking point for the commissioners at February’s presentation was a proposed rooftop addition, which would allow the installation of an elevator and provide amenity space. The problem for the commissioners was a fairly simple issue of visibility. Since February, the bulkhead was lowered by one foot. The penthouse was lowered by three feet and set back farther.
Commissioner Diana Chapin wondered why the bulkheads at 150 Barrow Street and 144 Barrow Street weren’t the same color. Adjmi said that while the projects will be connected, the developer wants there to be distinction between the more than century-old hotel building and the new construction to its east.
LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said the rooftop addition is now “much more subtle.” Commissioner Michael Devonshire said he would “reluctantly approve it” because the building needs an elevator. Srinivasan noted that the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation submitted a letter saying it is still opposed to the work.
In the end, the commissioners approved the revised proposal, unanimously.