Neighbors Trying to Squash 'Monolithic' Glass Condo Planned for TriBeCa

By Irene Plagianos on November 1, 2013 9:36am 

 A rendering of the controversial glass condo planned for 100 Franklin St.
A rendering of the controversial glass condo planned for 100 Franklin St.
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DDG Partners Rendering

TRIBECA — An eight-story glass condo building planned for Franklin Street has set off a firestorm of complaints from locals who say the shiny, modern structure is "inappropriate" for the historic neighborhood.

Residents have started a petition to squash the controversial development slated to be built on what’s now two triangular parking lots on Sixth Avenue, between White and Franklin streets, with an entrance at 100 Franklin St.

As of Friday morning, more than 800 people had signed the petition, which calls the condo— designed by DDG Partners — “historically inappropriate.”

“Not only will this monolithic glass wall upend historic Tribeca, but the building is out of scale and architectural context for such small lots,” the petition says. “As a result, the Franklin and White back alley will lose light and egress; traffic will increase significantly; trees will be cut down; nearby historic buildings will be threatened by the pounding frequencies; and reduced parking will affect our local shopkeepers' businesses.”

Nearly two-dozen angry residents protested the building, which is estimated to have 11 residential units, as well as space for retail shops, at a Community Board 1 meeting last week.

Lynn Ellsworth, a founder of preservation group Tribeca Trust, told the packed CB1 meeting that the building was much too big and too boring — and parts of its design “were kitsch and made a mockery of our historic district.”

Along with the glass-covered exterior, the building will incorporate reclaimed brick and metal, and include arches and vine-wrapped cables of greenery along its four-layered facade.

The new structure will sit next to 13 White St., an 1868 apartment building that CB1 called “one of the defining architectural jewels of the TriBeCa historic districts” in a resolution regarding 100 Franklin St.

While CB1 praised several aspects of the building, it referred to the roofs as a “rambling, jagged mess, that look like they were drawn by separate architectural firms.”

The development will go before the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Nov. 12, and needs LPC approval, as well as other city agency approvals, before it moves forward.

DDG did not immediately return request for comment.

CB1 will hold a special landmarks committee meeting dedicated to the 100 Franklin St. project at 6 p.m. on Nov. 7, at 49-51 Chambers St.

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