Tuesday, January 10, 2012
7 Story Building Planned for Columbia Street
An application for a new 7 story building at 255 Columbia Street (the former furniture store) has been filed at the Department of Buildings. The proposed building will reach a height of 70 feet and contain 13 apartments. The designer's blog includes a brief description of the building and an image of the street front. [Update 1/14/12 - the image on the designer's blog has apparently been removed].
Although we applaud the developer's commitment to constructing to Passive House standard, we are displeased with lack of sensitivity to the character of the neighborhood the image of the project reveals. Our hope is that the drawing is a very early sketch and that further refinement of composition, proportions, and detailing is forthcoming. As it is presented, this structure unfortunately resembles many of the mediocre contemporary infill buildings scattered throughout Williamsburg.
We welcome responsible development in our neighborhood and the influx of new residents who will be customers for our local businesses. We urge the developer of this project to demand of his designers a more sophisticated design. One that evinces a sensitivity to context and demonstrates an understanding of the meaningful differences in composition of building elements relative to the street, the property line, the building silhouette. With a little care, we believe that this site could hold a building that both its owners and its neighbors will love.