Tuesday, February 12, 2008
CGNA Meeting Roundup: 360 Smith Edition
Last night's Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association (our first at St. mary's Residences at 41 1st Street) was dominated by the looming edifice of 360 Smith Street. Developer Billy Stein came packing last night, with a new architect (no more Scarano!) and a multimedia presentation for the large crowd that turned out. Before I get into my thoughts, the meeting has already been ably covered by:
The Gowanus Lounge
Pardon Me For Asking
Longtime readers will know that my biggest issue with the 360 Smith developent is that the courtyard be preserved (it will be). Second is the look and scale of the building, and that is more of a mixed bag. The planned development (pictured above) will rise 6 stories, with a setback and an additional level on top, for a total of seven stories (plus parapet & mechanics) . . . the bulk height will be 70', with an effective height more like 75'-80'. This is disappointingly large, but within the current zoning - which is why our efforts to downzone the neighborhood and eliminate the wide streets loophole are so vital. This proposed height is perfectly legal and requires no zoning variances.
The architect (KSQ Architects) brought 3D computer models which he showed on an overhead screen. Interestingly, the building seems to blend a lot better on the 2nd Place side than on Smith Street.
While I think the design over all could use some work (I would go with a limestone color in the glass area and overtop, limit the color scheme to two colors, and setback the corner top level like the rest of the top level). In addition, the corner piece over all could use a reworking, possibly even rounding the corner to soften the edge. The good news is that Stein has indicated a willingness to work with the community on the facade appearance, if not on density.
Some meeting attendees pleaded for some architectural details in the corner area, with one suggesting even gargoyles. Which leads me to this thought: crown the building entrance with a gargoyle, cast in the likeness of Robert Scarano.
Photo credit: Pardon Me For Asking