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Old December 8th, 2012, 01:40 AM   #221
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wasn't Chicago style all American as well?
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Old December 8th, 2012, 03:12 AM   #222
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbarn View Post
Agreed. Even though the Prairie style had some Japanese influence, the work of Frank Lloyd Wright was quintessentially American.

This news is quite relevant to this thread:

MAS Submits 17 Buildings to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for Evaluation
December 7th, 2012 [Source]

The New York City Department of City Planning’s proposed East Midtown re-zoning has the potential to dramatically change the area and threaten the mix of old and new buildings that define the neighborhood as uniquely New York. In response to the City’s proposal, MAS is developing a holistic vision for the future of East Midtown that supports a vibrant mix of businesses, people, and of course, the buildings themselves – over a century’s worth of architecture. Historic preservation is a key component of this ongoing work.

Today, of the 587 building located in the City’s study area, 32 are designated as individual landmarks. In October, as part of our comments on the draft scope for the environmental review, MAS identified 29 sites of historic and architectural merit not currently protected by New York City landmark status. These buildings represent the development periods that define East Midtown, from pre-Grand Central to Terminal City to the post-war Modern Movement. They also represent a mix of materials, styles and uses that contribute to East Midtown’s visual diversity and sense of place.

East Midtown is certainly known for iconic landmarks such as the Chrysler Building, Lever House, and Grand Central Terminal (which celebrates 100 years in 2013, thanks in part to the work of MAS.) As reported in today’s New York Times, from the initial list of historic resources identified, MAS further refined the selection to 17 buildings that best convey historic, architectural and cultural significance, as determined by site visits, research, and collaboration with experts on the MAS Preservation Committee. These 17 buildings have been submitted for evaluation to the Landmarks Preservation Commission:

4 E. 43rd Street (former Mehlin Piano Company Building; Andrew J. Thomas, 1916)
18-20 E. 50th Street (former Grand Rapids Furniture Company; Rouse & Goldstone, 1915)
270 Park Avenue (former Union Carbide Building; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1960)
445 Park Avenue (Kahn & Jacobs, 1947)
450 Park Avenue (former Franklin National Bank Building; Emery Roth & Sons, 1972)
661 Lexington Avenue (former Babies’ Hospital; York & Sawyer, 1902)
Center for Fiction (former Mercantile Library; Henry Otis Chapman, 1932)
Graybar Building (Sloan & Robertson, 1927)
Hotel Intercontinental Barclay (Cross & Cross, 1926)
The Lexington (former Hotel Lexington; Schultze & Weaver, 1929)
Marriott East Side (former Shelton Hotel; Arthur Loomis Harmon, 1923)
One Grand Central Place (former Lincoln Building; J. E. R. Carpenter; Dwight P. Robinson, 1929)
Pershing Square Building (John Sloan of York & Sawyer, 1923)
Postum Building (Cross & Cross, 1924)
Swedish Seamen’s Church (former New York Bible Society; Wilfred Edward Anthony, 1920)
Vanderbilt Concourse Building (Warren & Wetmore, 1916)
Yale Club (James Gamble Rogers, 1915)

Good to see 445 Park and Union Carbide on that list - both are overlooked.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 03:12 AM   #223
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wasn't Chicago style all American as well?
Yep--Wright's work was an offshoot of the Chicago style.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 07:51 AM   #224
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The first comment is open to debate. The Larkin Building was masterpiece of modern urbanism, and Wright collaborated on several early projects, including the interior of the Rookery in Chicago, that are stunning examples of urban art.

The second comment is absurd. Wright was nothing if not an American architect - following Sullivan and Richardson, he created a whole American type of architecture.
What about Burnham? He was the architect of the Rookery Building, and while Wright was involved from the beginning, he spoiled the lobby later.

Since you mentioned Sullivan, I won't further argue. I believe neoclassicism and the Chicago School, which led to the development of the skyscraper, as the essence of American Architecture.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 06:17 PM   #225
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I won't. Because what was valid in the 19th century will always be valid, when it comes to aesthetics. Even the most beloved Art Deco highrises still followed the basic aesthetical logic of the 19th and earlier centuries. Only modernists brutally broke with these rules to screw our cityscapes. They may work as solitary buildings, but they fail to comply in ensembles of older, more grand buildings.

Modernist architecture in itself is more than a hundred years old - and has proven to fail at most places, so it's the one to be considered outdated, not classical / traditionalist architecture.

This is simple too:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi...k_DSCF2447.JPG
This corner used to be beautiful with the Savoy-Plaza:

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Old December 10th, 2012, 09:01 AM   #226
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What a shame how this area was ruined - probably forever...



But still, thanks for sharing the image!
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Old December 19th, 2012, 04:38 PM   #227
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You just don't get it. This is not about preservation in secluded areas.

It's about preservation wherever it's needed to maintain the city's character. And Midtown is an area where it's especially needed - and even more so at Park Avenue, where one of the last beautiful ensembles of townhouses and a historical highrise hotel of one of the most important streets of NYC disappeared. That's what the loss is about and what happened in the city many times before. Still, you may say, that's what NYC is about. Fine, but that's also what's uglyfying the city more and more.

But keep going, it's your city, huh.
New York has already secured what defines it most, its neighborhoods. Midtown is what the world sees as being New York but for the average new yorker, New York is in reality its countless neighborhoods. Many of those great beautiful neighborhoods are already protected. I'd rather have an entire stretch of city protected, than random pockets of just one district (Midtown). And yet, Midtown already has its landmarks.

New York is changing constantly, I believe that's what truly continues making this an incredibly interesting city with different contrasts and styles everywhere you look. You may find that boring, that's your opinion only. I honestly find New York much more visually interesting than Paris, a city which I find to be very monotonous.

For great buildings to rise, old ones must come down. The original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel to me was a building like many found in Europe. Beautiful but not unique. Today in its place stands a true New York icon found only in our great city and no where else. Now that's great change.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 06:22 PM   #228
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But why must these come down


when you have this?



And finally, lets not get ahead of ourselves and label any good looking architectural style "European". Many of these buildings possess architectural traits of just NYC.
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Last edited by CNB30; December 19th, 2012 at 06:32 PM.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 08:36 PM   #229
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I think more attention to architectural beauty should have been paid to the above towers' proposals, so that their replacement of the mansion houses would have been fair. I guess architecture and planning commissions back then weren't as interested in beauty as in years before that.
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Old December 20th, 2012, 02:10 AM   #230
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I think more attention to architectural beauty should have been paid to the above towers' proposals, so that their replacement of the mansion houses would have been fair. I guess architecture and planning commissions back then weren't as interested in beauty as in years before that.
I don't think it have changed ...
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Old December 20th, 2012, 02:39 AM   #231
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The problem is that architectural beauty is an extremely subjective and personal field once you get past obvious issues such as materials' quality, air and light penetration, shadow avoidance etc.

I bet $50 that virtually any "unique" style was, at its heyday, loathed by someone as being "out of place" or "ugly" or else. Even those many people love today. So we never know how will people in 50 years react to buildings u/c today.

It would be extremely pretentious and quite absurd for people of 2012 pass judgement on people of 1962 as being "idiots" because 50 years ago tearing down faux-victorian and art-deco buildings and have them replaced by modernist projection-style structures was considered a positive trend.

Maybe in 50 years people will be loathing the ones among us that fought silly NIMBY battles to keep excessively ornamented buildings preserved. Maybe they will praise it. We don't know.

That is why I think it is best for a city not to get into merely stylistic discussions when discussing planning and zoning. Just be concerned with volumes, height, materials and leave the architects, developers and home/office owners to decide what should be built and what should be torn down (or not).
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Old December 20th, 2012, 09:08 PM   #232
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New York has already secured what defines it most, its neighborhoods. Midtown is what the world sees as being New York but for the average new yorker, New York is in reality its countless neighborhoods.
Lower Manhattan and Midtown are also what America sees as New York, and evokes a sense of nationalism. The low-density swaths of neighborhoods which you are referring to are not as significant to us.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 12:07 AM   #233
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Suburbanist: I don't agree. Nothing more to say, as we know each other's opinion. And repeating it another 10 times won't help.
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Old June 6th, 2013, 11:33 AM   #234
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Interesting discussion, I reckon.


Any news on the front of historical building demolition in NYC?
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Old June 7th, 2013, 02:40 AM   #235
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Not really, unless some old nondescript brownstones interest you.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 02:53 AM   #236
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Demolishing historic brownstones should be punishable by castration. They are what defined many urban neighborhoods in New York, and too many have already been destroyed forever.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 03:24 AM   #237
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Give me a break. All the great skyscrapers of the city were built on the former brownstones. Even the art deco buildings of the 30s built on those same brownstones. There are large fractions of the island landmarked with those same buildings and I don't know anybody except fundamental classicists who would rather have some dime-a-dozen 4 story brick shacks like what is being demolished on the 255W57th plot than the actual skyscraper itself.
It's not like they are victorian townhouses, either. They're not even worth a second glance.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 04:23 AM   #238
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Demolishing historic brownstones should be punishable by castration. They are what defined many urban neighborhoods in New York, and too many have already been destroyed forever.
WOAH A little to lenient there buddy
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Old June 7th, 2013, 07:16 AM   #239
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A large amount of NYC is protected within very strict historic districts, and the districts are always expanding and the landmarks commission is always adding brand new historic districts within the 5 boroughs about every month. The city needs to keep changing, thats what cities do, but NYC has very good historic preservation initiatives so I am not too worried. Yes, amazing old buildings will be lost, but so much is preserved. I dont like seeing old buildings get torn down, but NYC is one of the most dense cities on the planet with hardly a vacant lot to build on, so what is to be done? Its not like in most other major American cities where the downtowns were destroyed after WW2 and during the suburbanization of this once great country and turned into parking lots.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 04:31 PM   #240
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Not really, unless some old nondescript brownstones interest you.
"Nondescript"





I believe the correct terminology is "Down right freaking beautiful, and 2 trillion times better than any suburban McCraphole

And also, what much of these have been razed for is some of the most Non-descript stuff I have ever seen.

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