By Karen Gadbois, The Lens opinion writer |
In 2007 liquor magnate William Goldring applied to the City Planning Commission for a zoning change at 5428 St. Charles Avenue.
He proposed to tear down the stately four-unit residence and replace it with 13 luxury condos in a four-story structure built above a parking garage. Actually, the zoning change he sought (RM-4) would have provided Goldring with generous wiggle room: an opportunity to build up to 26 residential units with essentially no height limit.
Neighbors and preservationists were appalled. Not only did Goldring’s plan entail destruction of a mansion designed by Emile Weil and built in 1928, it was a first assault on strict zoning enacted a half-century later to prevent upper St. Charles Avenue from going the way of the hodge-podge of fast-food outlets and cheapo apartment complexes farther downtown.
The City Planning Commission shot down the project, and plans for an appeal to the City Council were scuttled – but Goldring didn’t go away.
Now his son Jeffery Goldring is seeking permission to tear down the Weil mansion and replace it with a McMausoleum of a home.
The drawings accompanying the application to the Planning Commission show what appears to be a two-story structure, designed by architect Ken Tate. The application asks: “Does the proposed structure meet the zoning requirements?” The “yes” box has been checked, but a footnote has been penciled in below the box: “height variance shall be requested.”
The Neighborhood Conservation District Committee will hear the demolition request on Sept. 6.