The iconic South Sixth Street house, a neo-Colonial structure built by former Mayor Richardson Dilworth in 1957, is designated a significant structure in the Society Hill Historic District. Its possible demolition has sparked controversy since the matter first became public nearly three years ago.
The condo tower, designed by Robert Venturi, the city's preeminent contemporary architect, has passed through several design modifications since it was conceived more than two years ago.
While the architectural committee declined to revisit the demolition issue, it did raise substantial concerns about the condo tower's south facade - 16 stories of brick leavened only by subtle color gradations and an attenuated line of elevator-shaft windows.
Area residents at the hearing also objected to the building's size and what they characterized as the affront of its southern facade.
"It's a very small space for a very tall and massive building," said David Brill, president of the residents association of Independence Place, a condo complex to the south of Washington Square. "People will come out of Independence Place and see this massive brick wall."
Members of the architectural committee - Vincent Rivera, chairman; Herbert W. Levy; Robert Thomas; and Rudy D'Allessandro - decided to approve the project nevertheless. Their recommendation, however, stipulated that the south facade must be reworked to break up its mass.
Those reworkings, which might include additional windows and setbacks, must then be approved by the architectural committee.
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