Headless Building in Topless Bar? Tishman’s Wish for Former Porn Palace in West 40’s

breaks playpen693eighth1h Headless Building in Topless Bar? Tishman’s Wish for Former Porn Palace in West 40’sConstruction king Daniel Tishman is seeking to put a 22-story hotel atop the site of the Playpen Theater, a former pornographic mainstay on Eighth Avenue.

According to applications for building permits filed in recent days, Tishman Asset Corporation, headed by Mr. Tishman, has plans for a 333,000-square-foot hotel and a smaller residential building for a large site on the northwest corner of 44th Street and Eighth Avenue.

Preservationists have rallied for the site, particularly the Playpen Theater at 693 Eighth Avenue. They’ve unsuccessfully fought in recent weeks and months to save the theater—or in the least to save its façade—from the Tishman wrecking ball.

“The theater had architectural, historical and cultural significance,” said preservationist Michael Perlman, citing its value as a relic of the vaudeville era (apparently it didn’t always show porn). “They chose not to acknowledge our sensitive and determined appeal.”

The assemblage of five lots, including the Playpen, was sold to Tishman by a venture that included the Witkoff Group back in July for $128 million, according to property records.

Tishman’s hotel plans join a growing list of new projects on Eighth Avenue in the 40’s. At 42nd Street, the block just north of The New York Times’ new tower, SJP Properties is constructing its 40-story 11 Times Square tower; and late last month, the Port Authority announced it had reached a deal with Ruben Companies and Vornado Realty Trust to build a 42-story tower over the Port Authority Bus Terminal across Eighth Avenue from the Times tower.