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Old Posted Jan 17, 2019, 2:08 AM
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Hotel makeover for Coney Island’s Shore Theater heads back to the drawing board
Landmarks Preservation Commission Calls for Minor Design Changes

January 16, 2019
By Lore Croghan

Coney Island’s long-abandoned Shore Theater is going to be fixed up and adaptively reused, and that’s cause for rejoicing.

But not quite yet.

The city Landmarks Preservation Commission decided on Tuesday that Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel Architects’ proposed redesign of the old movie palace and office building at 1301 Surf Ave. is “timid” and “generic.”

Several commissioners used these words in critiquing the plan during a hearing at the preservation agency’s Manhattan headquarters.

They’re pleased Pyotr Yadgarov’s company Pye Properties intends to bring the neo-Renaissance Revival property back to life as a hotel and spa.

The hotel rooms will be constructed inside the seven-story office building. The spa will be constructed inside the theater — a design that the commissioners are not so pleased about.
Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel’s design has erased all hints that a movie theater ever existed at the property on the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues, several commissioners said.

So some want architect Randy Gerner to restore and retain the distinctive fire stairs that zigzag along the exterior of the movie theater.

“That hunk of metal is a very noticeable feature” for those who approach the building on Stillwell Avenue, Commissioner Michael Goldblum said.

Others said, if that’s not possible, create some visual echo of the stairs. Or come up with a mural or some other creative concept for the outside of the theater building that reminds people it’s located in Coney Island.

Gerner said at the hearing that the fire stairs are in poor condition and can’t be saved.
The Sign Was a Victim of Superstorm Sandy

Another design element that earned commissioners’ criticism was a vertical cloth banner with the name “Shore Hotel” that would hang on the corner of the building.

The low-key fabric sign would replace a brightly lit blade sign that spelled out the word “SHORE” in capital letters.

Superstorm Sandy damaged the iconic sign, so the property’s prior owner removed it.

Before that, the sign said “LOEW’S,” because 1301 Surf Ave. housed a Loew’s movie theater for five decades.

Landmarks Chairwoman Sarah Carroll said the architects are actually “very close” to having a design plan that can win commissioners’ approval.
NEW YORK heals.

“Office buildings are our factories – whether for tech, creative or traditional industries we must continue to grow our modern factories to create new jobs,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer.
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