MALONEY FIGHTS OUT-OF-SCALE DEVELOPMENT

Jan 14, 2000
Press Release

NEW YORK - Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) is fighting the proposal to build a tower on top of the Citibank building at the corner of 91st and Madison. The proposed tower would be completely out of context in the Carnegie Hill Historic District. The area was designated a historic district because it preserves a moment in time when Madison Avenue was made up of low brownstones and townhouses.

Maloney recently wrote to Jennifer Raab, Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, to express her strong opposition to the proposal as the corner of 91st and Madison lies at the heart of the Historic District. Maloney stated, "The proposed development, with its out-of-scale tower and uncharacteristic design, is badly out of place at this location. I urge the Commission to reject the current proposal and any other design that would erode the very special character of this neighborhood."

Last night, Maloney spoke out against the proposed tower once again, at the Landmarks Committee of Community Board 8. She said, "This tower is not an appropriate building for the historic district. It will stick out like a sore thumb. Located on the crest of a hill, the building's height will only be more pronounced and the historic and residential aesthetic of the neighborhood will be seriously threatened."

While on the City Council, Maloney introduced the legislation to create the Carnegie Hill Historic District. The area played an important role in the development of the Upper East Side - reflecting the northward expansion of middle class neighborhoods, the introduction of mass transit to this area and the construction of the Carnegie Mansion.

The proposed tower for the 91st and Madison location would be constructed of materials that have no context in the district. The developer makes no effort to replicate the neo-Grec, neo-Federal, and fine Romanesque Revival houses present in the adjacent historic buildings. The aggressively modern design of the proposed tower lacks any connection to the historic and aesthetic style of the neighborhood. The dead wall and profile of the building will create a highly intrusive sight-line in the center of the Historic District. The Congresswoman believes that the Citibank tower would have an extremely negative impact on the District and that it needs to be scaled back.

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