CB1 Clashes with Landmarks Commission Over Proposed Seaport Sign at Pier 17

By Chelsia Rose Marcius on October 24, 2012 1:58pm 

LOWER MANHATTAN — A large illuminated sign slated for the proposed redesign of Pier 17 on the South Street Seaport is pitting the local community board against the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission over the structure's appropriateness.

Community Board 1 has given the thumbs-down to the Howard Hughes Corp.'s proposed sign design — featuring 9-by-90-foot letters spelling out “Seaport” or “The Seaport” on the building's façade — despite the LPC unanimoulsy approving the design Tuesday.

CB1 supported a committee resolution from earlier this month rejecting several parts of the signage proposal, noting concerns that the sign would overwhelm the  pier complex's new façade.

"This is in the historic district, and for those of us who are always talking about historic districts, we want things to be contextual," said Roger Byrom, chairman of the board's Landmarks Committee, at Tuesday's full board meeting.

"These are very, very big signs, and we didn't think that was appropriate."

However, CB1 and the commission agreed to approve other signage proposals that are part of the Pier 17 redevelopment plan, including 10-foot-tall information signs that will help visitors navigate South Street Seaport and the new Pier 17 complex and painted “Seaport Market” sign on the side of the structure.

CB1 plans to ask the LPC to reconsider its ruling on the illuminated sign, and also to extend the federal historic district to incorporate those boundaries into the New York City historict district.

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