Volume 81, Number 1 | June 2 - 8, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Major facade fix at 2 Fifth Ave.
By Albert Amateau
The entire brick facade of 2 Fifth Ave., the high-rise residential co-op just north of Washington Square, will be replaced this year, according to Emily Folpe, vice president of the co-op board.
The project, estimated to cost upward of $30 million, was approved by the board nearly two years after firefighters responded to a call of falling bricks from the 20-story building.
Although no bricks actually fell, 25 feet of the white-brick facade between the 17th and 18th floors bulged out and was in danger of collapse. The Fire Department’s Special Operations Unit erected temporary wood braces, and a temporary scaffold was installed above the building’s second floor.
“We hope to start at the end of August,” said Folpe, a resident of the building for 16 years and author of “It Happened on Washington Square,” a popular book on Greenwich Village history.
The project was reviewed last Tuesday by the Community Board 2 Landmarks Committee and will be presented to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for approval June 7 because the building is in the Greenwich Village Historic District.
“We’ve been speaking to Landmarks staff about the project,” said Folpe, adding that the building’s 320 co-op owners who must pay for the project have been kept informed of the situation.
The cause of the bulging brick was attributed to water that got between the facade and the concrete wall. The new facade will include new material between the brick and the wall, in compliance with the latest Local Law 11 code.
Designed by Emery Roth & Sons and built by the Rudin Organization in 1951 to replace the old Rhinelander brownstones, the building was converted to a co-op in 1986. Its residents include former Mayor Ed Koch.