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Thread: NYC Hotel News

  1. #766
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Quote Originally Posted by Hof View Post

    Oh,yeah,the Cosmopolitan.You're right,I haven't been there since their renovation.
    As a matter of fact,I haven't been there since the early '70s,
    when I used to get my drugs there.
    Budget hotel from 2 centuries ago hopes to expand

    By Julie Shapiro
    Volume 22, Number 03
    May 29 - June 4, 2009

    One of the city’s oldest no-frills hotels is getting a facelift — and possibly an expansion.

    The owners of the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Tribeca want to modernize the 165-year-old building by adding a roof deck and a new entrance, and they want to enlarge the hotel onto an adjacent lot, adding 25 hotel rooms in a new building.

    The white, seven-story Cosmopolitan Hotel is a perennial choice for budget-minded travelers, with mini-loft rooms starting at $169 a night. The small lobby, basic décor and sparse amenities led a Frommer’s reviewer to write, “You must be a low-maintenance guest to be happy here.”

    The modest 125-room hotel now appears to be gearing for an upgrade, in the form of a six-story addition next-door. The modern addition at Reade St. and W. Broadway, opposed by Community Board 1, would be red brick with an all-glass storefront. The design for the top floor is inspired by the attics of Tribeca’s older buildings, the project’s architect said. The new building would replace the two-story goldenrod stucco structure on that corner that now houses Mary Ann’s Mexican restaurant.

    Although the recession has frozen construction financing and put most development projects on hold, Cosmopolitan Hotel co-owner Gerald Barad said last week that he had secured money for the expansion.

    “It’s a little rough,” he said of getting the financing. When pressed, he said, “We have enough money to build.”

    The hotel owners did not return phone calls this week and have not given a total cost estimate for the project or a timeline for when they want it to be complete.

    In addition to money, Barad and fellow owner Jay Wartski will also need approval from the city Landmarks Preservation Commission to move forward, since the hotel and adjacent lot are in the Tribeca South Historic District.

    Architect Matthew Gottsegen said the city is unlikely to oppose the demolition of the Mary Ann’s building, which has little remaining historic fabric. Gottsegen described the squat, bright building as an anomaly among the rest of the well-preserved historic district.

    “The Reade St. corner is like a chipped tooth on this beautiful row of teeth,” Gottsegen said as he presented his design for the new building to Community Board 1’s Landmarks Committee last week.

    The Cosmopolitan Hotel owners also want to add an elevator bulkhead to the existing hotel and expand the hotel’s W. Broadway entrance, displacing the Cosmopolitan Cafe, which opened in 2007.

    At a meeting last Thursday, C.B. 1 members said they support the Cosmopolitan Hotel’s owners, who have been in place for 20 years. However, the board vociferously opposed the hotel’s expansion project, objecting to the new building’s design, the displacement of small businesses and the owners’ unwillingness to return to the board with revisions. The community board’s opinion is advisory.

    “We’re at the tipping point where if we let this get approved, it’s another example of us just destroying what’s left of the wonderful character of that part of Tribeca,” said Roger Byrom, chairperson of the Landmarks Committee. He objected to the addition’s glassy base and called the design “uninteresting.”

    Bruce Ehrmann, co-chairperson of the committee, said the design looked cheap.

    “It’s bland infill — let’s call it what it is,” Ehrmann said. “It’s not bad infill, it’s just bland infill. And that being the case, I personally would prefer to leave things alone.”

    At those words, Barad, one of the owners, bristled.

    “It’s not as if we didn’t attempt to build it as beautiful as we can,” Barad said. “We didn’t tell our architect to make it kind of nice…. I think it looks good.”

    Corie Sharples, an architect who recently joined the board, complimented the design’s historic details, which she said were authentic rather than faux historic. Still, she, too, said the all-glass storefront should be toned down.

    Other board members objected to the design for the expanded W. Broadway entrance, which they likened to a nursing home or hospital.

    The expanded entrance will displace the Cosmopolitan Cafe, a restaurant Craig Bero opened in 2007, inspired by the hotel’s history. The Cosmopolitan Hotel was built in 1844 and the space where the cafe now sits was a ladies waiting room and tearoom going back as far as 1863, Bero said.

    Physically, the Cosmopolitan Hotel building has been through many changes since then. It originally had only four-and-a-half stories, but later grew to six and then seven stories. Balconies and window bays appeared and disappeared. Throughout the alterations, the building remained a hotel.

    Bero’s cafe represents a return to pieces of that history. Bero scoured the neighborhood for the antiques that now fill the Cosmopolitan Cafe, which has a European vibe and is featured prominently on the hotel’s Web site. Like the historic objects, the cafe’s location is an important part of its identity as it represents a tie to the past, Bero said.

    The hotel’s owners have promised to keep Bero’s cafe in some form, but Bero said he couldn’t imagine it in another place.

    “[The location] is what makes the cafe so special,” Bero said. “To transfer that somewhere else, I don’t know.”

    If the hotel’s plans move forward, the neighborhood would also lose Mary Ann’s, the Tribeca outpost of a Mexican restaurant that started in Chelsea and has since expanded around Manhattan and into the suburbs. Representatives at Mary Ann’s did not respond to requests for comment.

    Ehrmann, from the community board, said Tribeca has lost too many neighborhood restaurants recently, whether to the recession or new development.

    “All our other such places are disappearing one by one,” Ehrmann said, listing Franklin Station, Socrates Restaurant and others. “It’s something that everyone loves that’s being pushed out.”

    Ehrmann and Byrom requested that the hotel owners return to the community board next month with a revised proposal, but lawyer Frederick Becker declined to do so. Instead, the team will present the design to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which has the final say, on June 2. Becker said the L.P.C. likely would not approve the design at the first hearing, and the architect would incorporate the community’s comments along with the L.P.C.’s comments into a revised design next month.

    Ehrmann and other board members were not pleased.

    “We’re saying we want a voice,” Ehrmann said. “I feel offended by your approach to us.”

    Ehrmann was also angry that Becker blamed some aspects of the design — like the institutional new W. Broadway entrance — on L.P.C. staff, who requested that the architect change the design “six times in as many weeks,” Becker said. Ehrmann said it was “preposterous” to fault L.P.C. staff.

    Lisi de Bourbon, L.P.C. spokesperson, said the commission’s staff met with the architect, but “the design hadn’t evolved much since our involvement.”

    C.B. 1’s Landmarks Committee unanimously passed a resolution opposing the project, which the full board echoed Tuesday night.

    After the Landmarks Committee meeting, Gottsegen, the architect, called the community board disrespectful. Becker said the board was being negative and was unwilling to work with them.

    “Someone is trying to put money into the economy,” Becker said. “What do they want us to do?”

    © 2009 Community Media, LLC

  2. #767


    Send this back to the drawing board.

    City Considers Planned Extension
    to Historic Hotel

    By Matt Dunning

    UPDATED Jun. 04

    Rendering shows proposed addition to the Cosmopolitan Hotel
    at the corner of Reade Street and West Broadway.
    Franke, Gottsegen, Cox Architects

    One of the city’s oldest operating hotels, the Cosmopolitan has stood at the corner of Chambers Street and West Broadway for more than 160 years.

    If its owners have their way, it will soon extend north to the next corner as well.

    Cosmopolitan owners Jay Wartski and Gerald Barad purchased the two-story structure at West Broadway and Reade Street, now housing Mary Ann’s restaurant, in 2007. They are seeking the city’s permission to raze that structure and replace it with a six-story, 25-room addition to the hotel.

    If the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission approves it, the addition would be the most radical change to the 1844 building—an individual landmark—since two floors were added around 1910. Throughout its many years, it has remained a working hotel.

    The building’s expansion—vigorously opposed by Community Board 1’s Landmarks Committee last month—was greeted with more restrained criticism following its hearing before the commission on June 2.

    “I think we have a consensus emerging of the kinds of rethinking we feel ought to be undertaken,” Commission Chairman Robert Tierney said.

    As expected, the commission did not vote on the proposal but will revisit it in a revised form.

    Matthew Gottsegen, the project’s architect, described the addition as a modern interpretation of both the Romanesque loft buildings that line Reade Street and the cleaner, more workman-like design of the hotel itself. The new building, he said, would be a better fit for the neighborhood than the two-story stucco building at 101 West Broadway that it would replace.

    Rendering of the ground-floor retail space in the design for the hotel addition.
    The owner of the Cosmopolitan Cafe said his restaurant eventually will be relocated there.

    “I believe we’ve paid very close attention to the detailing, to the fenestration rhythms, to the visual cues in the district to create a building that is of the district but also of its own time,” Gottsegen told the commissioners. “We’re not interested in mimicking historic elements. We’re interested in using them as references.”

    Gottsegen’s design calls for an all-glass retail space on the ground floor. A thin aluminum marquee would skirt the new building above the first floor. Five floors of hotel rooms would be stacked on top of the storefront. The top floor, according to Gottsegen’s plans, would be clad in matte metal panels, a nod to the many buildings in the district topped with distinctly styled attic spaces.

    The commissioners differed on several elements of Gottsegen’s design, but were unified in their opposition to the all-glass retail space at the base.

    “The fact that it’s all glass at the ground floor really does make the weight of the main building visually unsupported in a very strange way, like it’s,” Commissioner Stephen Byrns said.

    Other elements of the proposed new building to draw criticism from the commission included the enunciated “attic” at the top floor, the stone banding around the corner and the obscured columns at the building’s base.

    “I think that once [101 West Broadway] is gone, you’re going to see how important this corner is,” Commissioner Christopher Moore said. “I think [Gottsegen] is going in the right direction, but the bar is pretty high.”

    The proposal also includes a number of changes to the existing hotel. A larger entryway to the main lobby on West Broadway would replace the Cosmopolitan Café. The new entrance would be marked with a flat rectangular metal awning protruding from the building, with the hotel’s familiar maroon logo perched on top. Part of the building’s roof would become an outdoor patio.

    The Frederick Hotel, circa 1850, was renamed the Cosmopolitan.

    Though the popular two-year-old café will be displaced, its owner, Craig Bero, said that he is confident the building’s owner will provide a space for him in the hotel during construction, possibly on the second floor. And he said he is assured of a space on the ground floor of the new addition.

    “We’re going to have a space that’s bigger and better than what we are,” he said.

    The addition would displace a piece of the neighborhood’s tangible, if hidden, heritage. Beneath the tawny stucco veneer of 101 West Broadway remain two floors of a four-story brick building built in 1868. The building was stripped of virtually all its original masonry, windows and ornamentation, and was refinished with glazed blue bricks.

    During the hearing, CB1 Landmarks Committee co-chairman Bruce Ehrmann and Councilmember Alan Gerson spoke out against the project. Gerson said that the majority of the features of the new addition “just don’t work” for the Tribeca Historic District, where the addition would be located.

    “Not only are [the designs] inconsistent with the Tribeca Historic District, the community and I feel quite strongly that they detract from the creative elements which the district seeks to preserve,” Gerson said.

    As for the commissioners’ objections, Frederick Becker, Wartski’s and Barad’s lawyer, called them “well-reasoned.”

    “Certainly we’ll consider [the suggestions] and incorporate them into a redesign,” Becker said. “We’re looking forward to working the Commission staff on a direction that will get us to a successful conclusion.”

    Copyright © 2009 The Tribeca Trib • 401 Broadway, 5th Floor

    Don't know how many names the hotel had, but before it became the Cosmopolitan, it was the flophouse Bond Hotel. I once ha to get a co-worker out of there before he lost his job.

  3. #768


    It's amusing how picky the city and residents act in landmark districts (which is a good thing) and how it's a complete sh*t-show outside of them. In non-landmarked historic areas no one even seems to care.

    Just landmark the entire city already and have all designs pass through an expanded commission.

  4. #769


    That's because besides the LPC, the only NYC agency with oversight on architecture is the Art Commission, and that's just for city owned property.

  5. #770


    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
    Just landmark the entire city already and have all designs pass through an expanded commission.
    A promising though unachievable idea.

    With no exceptions, however, buildings aged 150 or older should be automatically landmarked. Lots directly adjacent to these should fall under the commission's process. That would produce a fair number of de facto mini historic districts.

  6. #771


    City Approves Six-Story Addition
    for Historic Tribeca Hotel

    Franke, Gottsegen and Cox Architects
    A six-story addition to the landmark Cosmopolitan Hotel will rise
    at the corner of West Broadway and Reade Street.

    By Matt Dunning
    UPDATED Sept 22

    The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has unanimously approved a six-story addition to Tribeca’s 165-year-old Cosmopolitan Hotel.

    The new construction, to be built at the corner of West Broadway and Reade Street, plus a planned new look for the hotel’s ground-floor commercial spaces, are the most dramatic changes to the hotel in almost a century.

    The architect on the project, Matthew Gottsegen, won the approval at the Commission’s Sept. 15 hearing. He made revisions to the plan based on comments from the panel at his first presentation to them in June.

    “This has come a long way in the right way, and it’s at a good place now,” said commission chairman Robert Tierney. “I find every aspect of it appropriate and approvable.”

    The addition to the Cosmopolitan, an individual landmark and a working hotel since it was built in 1844, would add 25 rooms to the 135-room hotel and replace a two-story stucco building at 101 West Broadway, now the home of Mary Ann’s Mexican restaurant.

    Next door, in the existing hotel, a new, wider entrance to the building will displace the Cosmopolitan Café.

    “We’re trying to keep him in the hotel,” the Cosmopolitan's co-owner, Jay Wartsky, said. “We’ve been talking with Craig [Bero, the owner] about what we want to do for him, but nothing’s been decided yet.”

    In June, Landmarks commissioners told Gottsegen to rethink what he had proposed as all-glass retail space on the ground floor of the new building—one commissioner said the building looked as though it had been “de-footed”—and his use of metal cladding instead of brick on the façade of the top floor.

    “There was a lot of talk about the [new] building looking like it was floating,” Gottsegen told the commissioners as he explained his alterations.

    The retail space at the ground floor of the new building–once clad entirely in glass–was
    one of several elements of the project Landmarks commissioners insisted be redesigned.

    Where the original plans called for the outer columns of the retail space to be covered in frosted glass—essentially eliminating any evidence of support at the building’s base—the new design outfits the columns with ribbed glass outlined in lengths of deep-brown steel. The thin stone marquis separating the first and second floor, another sticking point with the commissioners three months ago, gains a good deal of heft, with the lettering moved higher and set off with an off-white cast stone background.

    Among other changes to his original design, Gottsegen acquiesced to the commissioners’ request to replace the metal cladding at the top of the new building with bricks. The new design of the addition also includes more articulation of the window bays at the Reade Street end of the building.

    “I think we’ve come through with a design that speaks to the character of the neighborhood and to the hotel,” Gottsegen said of the addition.

    It is uncertain when construction will begin, as the hotel’s owners still need the city's sign-off on the construction plans.

    “It shouldn’t take too long, but I don’t want to make a guess,” Wartsky said. “It all depends on the Department of Buildings. We’re playing that by ear.”

    Copyright © 2009 The Tribeca Trib • 401 Broadway

    *Renderings depict new design.
    Last edited by ZippyTheChimp; September 24th, 2009 at 12:57 PM. Reason: typo

  7. #772


    As a regular patron of this hotel, I can say I approve of all the changes.

    As a member of the greater public, I can say: why should anyone care what I think?

    And more importantly, why should such finely-parsed aesthetic decisions be part of the Government's brief?

  8. #773


    There are many horrible old buildings that don't deserve to remain...such as on the bowery, etc.. the new modern buildings are giving life to that street. The old ones are nothing special. So, don't landmark the entire city.

  9. #774


    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    A promising though unachievable idea.

    With no exceptions, however, buildings aged 150 or older should be automatically landmarked. Lots directly adjacent to these should fall under the commission's process. That would produce a fair number of de facto mini historic districts.
    I would draw the line at WWII. Anything pre-war gets landmarked. Demolition is possible for new development, but only after rigorous review and an understanding that it'd be the exception, not the rule. Anything post-war (even in 200 years' time, if building trends continue the way they are) lies outside the blanket landmarking.

    What's the experience of European and British cities with this? What's the law in London? Paris? Rome? Berlin? Anybody know?

  10. #775
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    With subtle changes, Cosmo Hotel wins over Landmarks Commission

    The Landmarks Preservation Commission had strong criticisms for the
    original proposal for the expansion of the Cosmopolitan Hotel, left,
    but commissioners approved the plan last week after architects made a few changes, right,
    including extending the bricks to the top and adding more pronounced columns.

    By Julie Shapiro

    New designs for the Cosmopolitan Hotel expansion won landmarks approval last week, paving the way for a new building in the Tribeca South Historic District.

    The city Landmarks Preservation Commission disliked the first designs they saw for the project in June, calling the proposal “bland” and “generic.” But commissioners liked the new plans they saw Sept. 15, which are very similar to the original designs but have additional historic details.

    “This has come a long way in the right way,” chairperson Bob Tierney said at the hearing. “I find every aspect of it appropriate.”

    The owners of the historic Cosmopolitan Hotel at Chambers St. and W. Broadway plan to refurbish the exterior and build a six-story brick addition on an adjacent lot, demolishing the short stucco building that sits there now. Originally, architect Matthew Gottsegen wanted to connect the new building and the existing hotel by including similar modern features on both. But based on the commissioners’ feedback, he decided to restore historic elements to the original Cosmopolitan building, making the old more distinct from the new.

    “This is a greatly improved project,” landmarks commissioner Margery Perlmutter said upon seeing the new designs. “Now the two buildings speak to each other without blending into each other.”

    Gottsegen also made changes to the new building’s design, including the addition of more pronounced columns to the glassy ground floor and the expansion of bricks onto the top floor.

    Work could begin as soon as this spring on the Cosmopolitan and the new building, which will add 25 rooms and a roof deck to the 125-room budget hotel, Gottsegen said. Gerald Barad, who owns the building with Jay Wartski, said earlier this year that they had full financing in place. The owners did not comment this week.

    The Cosmopolitan has been a neighborhood fixture since it opened in 1844 as the Girard House. Over the course of many expansions and design changes, the hotel took on different names, including the Cosmopolitan and later the Bond Hotel. When the current owners took over in the 1980s, they did major renovations and resurrected the Cosmopolitan name. The hotel is now known for its no-frills rooms starting at less than $200 a night.

    Before construction of the hotel’s addition can begin, the owners have to demolish the existing two-story yellow stucco building at Reade St. and W. Broadway, which houses Mary Ann’s Mexican restaurant. The building has little historic fabric, so the L.P.C. did not object to replacing it. Mary Ann’s, a small chain that started in Chelsea, is now on a month-to-month lease. The restaurant owners did not respond to a request for comment.

    At first glance, the new designs the L.P.C. approved last week look similar to the ones that drew censure just a few months ago. The new six-story building is still a red-orange brick structure with a glassy storefront and a different window pattern on the top floor.

    The differences are in the details. Commissioners initially complained that the new building looked like it was floating above an unsupported ground floor, so Gottsegen added columns of dark painted steel to give the base more weight. The commissioners also disliked the original plan for the top floor, which was supposed to reflect the idea of an attic with alternating bands of windows and aluminum. Gottsegen took their recommendation and extended the brick up to the top floor, which makes the building look more cohesive.

    On the existing Cosmopolitan building, Gottsegen looked to the past for inspiration and decided to remove the green awnings that now wrap the ground floor of the building. The new designs restore a metal cornice over the ground floor and add cast-stone cladding around the openings, along with a wood-panel bulkhead. Signs for the stores will be painted onto the windows.

    “We took our cues from the original design, to create a design that’s in the spirit of the historic district,” Gottsegen said. “I think it works very well.”

    One of the biggest changes he made was to the design for the new hotel entrance on W. Broadway, which Community Board 1 members said looked far too utilitarian, like an entrance to a hospital. Now, the entrance includes a marquee similar to the one that was on Chambers St. in the 1930s, and Gottsegen will use stone to frame the entrance rather than the more modern metal panels he originally contemplated.

    The new W. Broadway entrance will displace the Cosmopolitan Cafe, which opened in 2007 and has quickly become a hangout for both Tribecans and hotel guests. Craig Bero, who owns the cafe, said Wartski reassured him that the cafe would be relocated within the Cosmopolitan building, but Bero has not gotten any details or a timeline.

    The recent changes to the Cosmopolitan’s design won the informal approval of the Historic Districts Council, which opposed the original application.
    “For a new building in a historic district they’ve done a pretty nice job,” Nadezhda Williams, preservation associate at H.D.C., said in an e-mail.

    “They made some subtle, but important changes from their initial application,” she added, listing stone lintels and the expansion of brick up to the top floor of the addition.

    However, Roger Byrom, chairperson of C.B. 1’s Landmarks Committee, said his concerns about the design remained. In May, the community board recommended that the L.P.C. reject the changes to the hotel and the addition, calling the new building “blandly contextual.” Byrom’s committee requested that the owners return to the community board with suggested changes, but the owners decided to go directly to the city L.P.C., which has the final say.

    Bruce Ehrmann, co-chairperson of the C.B. 1 committee, said in an e-mail that the new design was not much better.

    “It’s gone from being dreadful to being a bore,” he said.

  11. #776
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Quote Originally Posted by futurecity View Post

    ... on the bowery, etc.. the new modern buildings are giving life to that street. The old ones are nothing special.
    They're just an ugly bunch of early 19th century piles of bricks that have amazingly lasted this long.


    Methinks we have yet another Demo Freak amongst us.

  12. #777


    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    Methinks we have yet another Demo Freak amongst us.
    LOL, on WNY a "Demo Freak" is defined as someone who doesn't want to Landmark 100% of the city.

    The Bowery of old is mostly crap.

    The best Bowery buildings, by a longshot, are the newest arrivals: New Museum, the new sliver condo, and the Zapata hotel.

  13. #778
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    Isn't it just amazing how in another part of the very same city, they're tearing down (or already torn down in the case of the ones on Eighth Ave) better looking walkups than the new one they're trying to put up here?

    There is something clearly wrong with this city.


    ...and this:

    ...are all better than this:

  14. #779


    I would definitely disagree with that assessment. The buildings on 8th are just common 19th century cold water walkup tenements. The only thing that makes them remotely interesting is the ornamentation.

    The below building is a loft reproduction. Call me a snob, but Tribeca loft structures are a lot nicer than cold water tenements.

    And forget about my taste (or possible lack thereof). Tenements are a dime-a-dozen in this city. They're everywhere, in every borough.

  15. #780
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    What makes the lofts "a lot nicer?" (I'd like to hear this one.)

    For your information, ornamentation makes all the difference.

    That proposed hotel is only marginally better than many Fedder brick boxes minus the AC vents and balconies.

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