Upper East Siders are not happy about this plan to add a penthouse to the former French Embassy

The current building (left), the proposed addition (credit: Dominick R. Pilla Associates)

A controversial plan to add a penthouse apartment to the top of the former French Embassy at 1143 Fifth Avenue has been approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission — and Upper East Siders are not happy about it.

Elizabeth Fagan, director of preservation for the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, said during the hearing that “such a large, out-of-context addition” could “set a precedent to build other overwhelming additions to smaller buildings on the Upper East Side,” reported DNA Info.

The approved plan consists of adding 36 feet to the top of the eight-story building, which will make space for a bi-level duplex penthouse. Most of the addition is set 28 feet back from the façade, making it very inconspicuous from the street.

Originally, the owner, Jean Claude Marian, had wanted to add six stories to the building, to match the heights of its neighbors, but that plan was not approved by the LPC.

Dominick R. Pilla Associates, the architecture firm handling project, says construction will likely start in September.