Landmarks Commission Nixes Puck Condos, But Owner Won’t Give Up

The Puck BuildingIan Duncan The Puck Building with its gold mascot

Puck, the mascot of the building of the same name on the corner of Houston Street and Mulberry Street, is facing the prospect of some shiny glass condos above his shiny gold top hat. Kushner Companies, the building’s owner, wanted to stick apartments on the roof of the landmarked structure. The Landmarks Preservation Commission told it no back in September. Today, it again said no to revised, more modest designs.

In an e-mail, a spokeswoman for the commission said, “The Commissioners did not approve the proposal as presented. They commented and voiced a variety of concerns about the bulk, scale and design of the proposal.”

That might not be the end of it, though. Jared Kushner, a principal at the firm and owner of the New York Observer, said in an e-mailed statement: “We were pleased with the constructive feedback we received from the Landmark Commission.  We look forward to continue working together to achieve the right outcome for the building.”

The Commission confirmed that the company could come back with revised proposals.

Neighborhood preservationists were pleased at the news. “Few buildings in New York are more iconic, more beloved, and more worthy of the designation ‘landmark’ than the Puck Building, and thus any proposed changes must be held to the highest level of scrutiny,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation.

“With this enormously visible proposed rooftop addition, the applicant did not meet the standards we should demand for respecting and preserving this singular New York City landmark.”

The Puck Building was built in 1885, taking its name from a satirical magazine produced inside. The building is now occupied by NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service and a branch of Seattle-based outdoors store REI is set to open in early December.

Puck was a fairy in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and the statue on the building displays a quote from the play: “What fools these mortals be.”

Beyond that, the imp’s thoughts on the development plans are not known.