July 18, 2017

Meenakshi Srinivasan
Chair
Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor North
New York, NY 10007

Dear Chair Srinivasan:

I was appalled to learn that the stunning structure located at 316 Fifth Avenue at West 32nd
Street is under imminent threat for demolition and will be replaced by yet another high-end
residential, overly tall banal glass box building if the Landmarks Preservation Commission
(LPC) does not act immediately to designate this property.

The Kaskel & Kaskel building, designed by Charles L. Berg in the Beaux-Arts style,
represents an important period of development of Fifth Avenue as the premier shopping
destination for New York City and the world. The building’s copper-clad mansard roof, marble
cartouches, soaring triple-height arches and other architectural details are amazingly intact.
Charles L Berg is already recognized by the LPC as an exemplary architect, as evidenced by the
Individual Landmark designation of a residential property known as the Moore House located at
15 East 70th Street. I would posit that the Fifth Avenue structure is equally if not more worthy,
for its architectural merit, for its early use of electric lighting in the show windows, and since the
structure was designed for prominent members of the men’s fashion industry.

This structure is a standing touch point for the development history of the Garment Center,
which is also under imminent threat for the displacement of garment production and design.
With the identity of a 150 year old neighborhood hanging in the balance, only the LPC can act to
protect this architectural and historical gem in perpetuity.

I look forward to your response regarding expedient calendaring of the Kaskel & Kaskel
Building at 316 Fifth Avenue. Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Gale A. Brewer
Manhattan Borough President