Apple Runs Into Opposition With Plans For NY Store Exterior

Two months ago, according to an article in The New York Times, Apple leased the space that used to be Andrews Coffee Shop at 136 Fifth Ave. in New York City. It then submitted a plan to place a gray limestone facade, complete with the Apple logo, on the front of the 3,550-square foot space, running into opposition from the cityis Landmarks Preservation Commission, which wants all the stores in the area to adopt a similar architectural aesthetic.

Many of the other buildings in the area, which became a shopping mecca between the Civil War and World War I, are in the Beaux-Arts, neo-Renaissance and Queen Anne styles. Appleis second plan, which involved tearing down the Andrews Coffee Shop building and replacing it with a two-story structure bearing an all-glass facade, was also rejected. "[It] would be more appropriate to an aquarium," commented Simeon Bankoff, director of the non-profit preservation group Historic Districts Council.

Apple executives wouldnit comment to Times writer Dennis Hevesi, of course, but architect Karl A. Backus, a principal in the company that came up with the second plan, said: "If anyone has seen their stores, theyire a much more modern aesthetic. Thereis a certain branding image. And this particular site is in an historical district."

He added: "In terms of Apple diverging from its typical design, Iim not too sure how much theyid be willing to go along, other than what theyive presented so far." A public hearing for the second plan will be held Aug. 8 or 16.