Sugar & Plumm Candy Store Tones Down 'Cutesie' Facade

By Leslie Albrecht on January 16, 2012 6:26pm 

Neighbors object to the candy-colored lighting fixtures Sugar & Plumm wants to use outside its Upper West Side location, scheduled to open in the spring.
Neighbors object to the candy-colored lighting fixtures Sugar & Plumm wants to use outside its Upper West Side location, scheduled to open in the spring.
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Sugar & Plumm

UPPER WEST SIDE — Maybe this time they hit the sweet spot.

Sugar & Plumm Purveyors of Yumm, the new candy store opening on Amsterdam Avenue that some locals have said is "too garish" for their neighborhood, has toned down the design of its storefront to put it more in line with the landmarked building it will call home.

The store will go before the Landmarks Preservation Commission again on Tuesday seeking approval for its new storefront design, which ditches the candy-colored light sconces and "lollipop-inspired" door handles in favor of a more quaint finish inspired by the building's look in the 1930s.

In December, the LPC reviewed Sugar & Plumm's proposed facade and told the candy store to tone down its "cutesie" look.

Commissioners said Sugar & Plumm's facade design seemed more geared toward advertising the candy store's brand than in blending in with the 82-year-old landmarked building on West 78th Street.

The LPC's comments pleased some neighbors, who've started a website and Facebook page slamming Sugar & Plumm for its "suburban" look.

In response to the LPC's criticisms, Sugar & Plumm's architects say they've created a revised facade design that aims to honor the building's history.

The new design was inspired in part by an early 1930's photo of the 173 W. 78th St. building that the LPC gave Sugar & Plumm's architects, Carmen Aguilar, a principal with the Rockwell Group, said at a Community Board 7 preservation committee meeting Thursday night where she unveiled the revised plans.

The photo shows a row of small shops, including an ice cream parlor, a luncheonette and stores selling cigars and cordials.

"We've taken this as our inspiration for the design of the new storefront," Aguilar told Community Board 7 members.

Architects cut some of the features that the LPC had objected to altogether, such as the candy-colored light sconces, Aguilar said. They also eliminated all but two decorative door handles that had a "lollipop-inspired" look, and cut some of the signage on awnings, Aguilar said.

Community Board 7 members called the new design "very nice" and "more sophisticated." But the community board's role is only advisory. The LPC has final say on whether Sugar & Plumm can build the facade as designed.

Representatives for Sugar & Plumm declined to provide pictures of the proposed storefront to DNAinfo, saying it would "create confusion" to release the images before the facade design was approved.

"We were happy to be asked back to the community board to present our plans and more so by the community's positive reaction," said Sugar & Plumm's vice president of business development Peter Fine in an emailed statement. "We are excited to bring our delicious homemade fare and treats to the Upper West Side and to hopefully being a mainstay in the community for many years to come."

The LPC is scheduled to review Sugar & Plumm's revised application at approximately 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, but the timing is subject to change. For more information check the LPC's website.

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