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Old November 4th, 2012, 09:59 PM   #121
RegentHouse
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I don't intend to be an elitist here, but people like El_Greco and yankeesfan1000 missed the point because it's the large-scale classical buildings like the Drake Hotel, Penn Station, and soon maybe the coordinating hotel (though I personally like what's proposed) which get destroyed, while pockets of smaller and insignificant buildings that survived the early 20th century boom remain.

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Originally Posted by El_Greco View Post
Perhaps I shouldnt be surprised, youre, after all, the man who wishes more social control and considers any kind of rebellion or alternative lifestyle (graffiti, hipsters etc) not as merely unwanted but criminal too.
Well, IMHO they damage society much more than modernism. Look what happened to New York City between the 60s and 80s because of hippies and the people who live in aforementioned pockets.

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Its the same when school children customize their bikes or make little drawings in their notebooks.
Bad analogy. It's more like whether the notebook is a simple spiral one or if it's a leather padfolio.

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These buildings are from different eras (Medieval to late Victorian) and despite their visual differences they, nevertheless, create a harmonious whole (even Art-Deco and some 50s buildings would fit in there) and thats, because they all employed similar architectural language. Modernist would have destroyed the whole street for some nightmarish concrete building or plonked it arrogantly in the middle with no consideration, thus destroying the harmony.

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Fleet Street by EricP2x, on Flickr
Art deco and 50s buildings? Yuck! Also, aren't 50s buildings modernism? Regardless, these aren't accurate examples of what's being discussed as they're more low profile, thus not as significant as the Pennsylvania Hotel in New York per se that represent the city as what's supposed to be the world's financial capital.

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Originally Posted by yankeesfan1000 View Post
-The New York Landmarks Commission has set over 27,000 individual buildings as landmarks, in addition to 107 historic districts or neighborhoods that are a minimum of several entire city blocks that are completely landmarked, all since 1965.

-LPC impose a new rule on themselves in 2006 stating they have to landmark a minimum of 16 buildings per year regardless of anything, while far exceeding that number every year since the rule.
How draconian are these laws, and who wants to read them?

Quote:
-And just within the past 6 months the historic districts of Harlem and the East Village get expanded.
Again, who cares about these specific pockets compared to what has been destroyed already? We're talking about major areas in Lower Manhattan and along Park Avenue. What you are referring to are just some gentrified areas that were formerly poor places considered insanitary compared to newly-built commie blocks, which were unlivable spaces to begin with.

Quote:
I also don't understand the hate for 432 Park. Apparently even the developer is still tweaking the concrete to be used in the facade, because they need it to be extra strong, but they also want it to be as white as possible and smooth as glass. I don't understand how people can hate something we know so little about. I mean, do people here honestly think we're going to get something that resembles a commie block, all while the developer charges tens of millions of dollars for apartments?
It looks like a stretched-out freak of everything wrong with modernism, is going to be built on the some of the city's most valuable land, and replaced a beautiful hotel. What's not to hate?

Also ThatOneGuy, don't even bother trying to defend modernism in the "Classic Architecture" section of the forum.

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Originally Posted by ThatOneGuy View Post
I notice it because I like simplicity.

Most of the new buildings you posted were not modernist. The majority were, ironically, postmodern.
Well, excluding neo-traditionalist elements that may be present in postmodern buildings, most of postmodernism is inherently considered modernism.
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Old November 4th, 2012, 10:27 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by RegentHouse View Post
I don't intend to be an elitist here, but people like El_Greco and yankeesfan1000 missed the point
How ironic then that you missed the point too. I wasnt talking about New York, but about destruction of old gems and their replacement with horrors in general. I understand that cities need to move forward, but if we are going to destroy old structures we should replace them with buildings of equal or superior quality and not just plonk some poorly designed box. See below.

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Well, IMHO they damage society much more than modernism. Look what happened to New York City between the 60s and 80s because of hippies and the people who live in aforementioned pockets.
Places like Berlin or Shoreditch in London are trendy precisely because of that alternative crowd and these are far more interesting and exciting areas than some posh and spotless one.

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Bad analogy. It's more like whether the notebook is a simple spiral one or if it's a leather padfolio.
Fine. Imagine a modern glass box of no redeeming features as scribblings in a leather padfolio.

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Art deco and 50s buildings? Yuck! Also, aren't 50s buildings modernism? Regardless, these aren't accurate examples of what's being discussed
Missing the point again. Put in an Art-Deco building on that street and it wont stick out like a sore thumb, put a concrete horror or glass box and its another story.

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Old November 4th, 2012, 10:58 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by El_Greco View Post
How ironic then that you missed the point too. I wasnt talking about New York, but about destruction of old gems and their replacement with horrors in general.
Yeah but this is a thread specifically about New York City.

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I understand that cities need to move forward, but if we are going to destroy old structures we should replace them with buildings of equal or superior quality and not just plonk some poorly designed box.
I absolutely agree.

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Places like Berlin or Shoreditch in London are trendy precisely because of that alternative crowd and these are far more interesting and exciting areas than some posh and spotless one.
I can't say I agree with this, but it's my opinion. Sure Shoreditch (what a name) is vibrant, but so is a slum in India. Places should aspire to be like "posh and spotless" areas for urbanity's sake. I suppose there is a limit because "posh and spotless" could be interpreted as the origins of modernism, but I'm thinking more along the lines of the Chicago City Beautiful movement.

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Missing the point again. Put in an Art-Deco building on that street and it wont stick out like a sore thumb, put a concrete horror or glass box and its another story.
Again, my opinion. I don't find art deco at all architecturally inspiring. If anything, it's the step between classicism and modernism.

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Gardiners Corner 2006

Shameful... and not only the buildings but the overall streetscape, too.
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Old November 4th, 2012, 11:43 PM   #124
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@el greco Those ones would look far better if they were properly maintained, perhaps with a fresh, new layer of glass.
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Old November 5th, 2012, 06:13 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by RegentHouse View Post
I don't intend to be an elitist here, but people like El_Greco and yankeesfan1000 missed the point because it's the large-scale classical buildings like the Drake Hotel, Penn Station, and soon maybe the coordinating hotel (though I personally like what's proposed) which get destroyed, while pockets of smaller and insignificant buildings that survived the early 20th century boom remain...
The point right off the bat that needs to be made in regard to Drake and Hotel Penn is that they reside in the largest business district in the world, and preservation on a wide scale is not realistic, unless New York is willing to concede its status as a premier commercial center. Granted, that sort of a shift would take decades, but if you start landmarking everything in Midtown, no new offices, so companies slowly leave. However there are still plenty of prewar buildings that are in Midtown.

Stuff gets demolished in NY all the time that aren't large scale classical buildings. I didn't hear any cries about the Red Crosses old HQ, I don't hear any cries about the old warehouses that comprise the Hudson Yards that have been getting demolished over the past 5 years. Classical buildings are not the only thing that get demolished.

As to your last half sentence, calling remains in New York "pockets of smaller insignificant buildings," is absurd, regardless of how they survived the first half of the 20th century, even if just by sheer dumb luck, the fact remains they are landmarked. As someone who has lived nearly their entire life in Lower Manhattan, I have a hard time taking someone seriously who thinks that. So would you call Greenwich Village, Soho, Noho, St. Marks district, the East Village, South St Seaport, Stone St, and Tribeca insignificant mere pockets?

Noho which is one of 18 landmarked neighborhoods just below 14th St, is relatively small in comparison to other landmarked neighborhoods below 14th St and is made up of about 125 buildings, over approximately 21 city blocks. And that's small for landmark status below 14th St. I would not call that insignificant.

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Originally Posted by RegentHouse View Post
Well, IMHO they damage society much more than modernism. Look what happened to New York City between the 60s and 80s because of hippies and the people who live in aforementioned pockets.
Right because it wasn't like the city was near bankruptcy on numerous occasions during the 1970s due to a massive flight of population, and subsequent erosion of the tax base. The entire dark period of NY in the 70s and 80s was because of hippies. Nailed it.


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Originally Posted by RegentHouse View Post
...thus not as significant as the Pennsylvania Hotel in New York per se that represent the city as what's supposed to be the world's financial capital.
I have to ask, have you ever seen the Hotel Penn? Been inside? Not only has the interior been gutted and now resembles a cheap Reno motel, but that stretch of 7th Ave has buildings that look almost identical to the Hotel Penn, and in my opinion are much more attractive. And how in the world does the Hotel Penn represent New York in any way? Hotel Penn is nothing special, in a city like New York which has thousands upon thousands of much more attractive buildings, landmarked and unlandmarked, from the same period.

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Originally Posted by RegentHouse View Post
How draconian are these laws, and who wants to read them?
Honestly, I read this as you just brushing aside over 27,000 landmarked buildings since 1965 because it would dispel the idea that you have that NY doesn't care about its architectural past.

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Originally Posted by RegentHouse View Post
Again, who cares about these specific pockets compared to what has been destroyed already? We're talking about major areas in Lower Manhattan and along Park Avenue...
Because you can't landmark what's already been destroyed... If those expansions of landmarked neighborhoods weren't put into affect, then maybe next year some developer would tear it all down and build glass apartments, and then you would be complaining about how NY doesn't care about its architectural past. You have to have some foresight and landmark for the future...

No you're not talking about major areas of Lower Manhattan, because a hugeee percentage of Lower Manhattan is made up pre 1950 buildings, with enormous swaths being landmarked. I have to imagine you've never been to New York. I have lived in Lower Manhattan my entire life, know it like the back of my hand, it is incredibly well preserved. Give me some examples since 1965, the creation of the LPC, otherwise you're speaking purely in hyperbolic terms.

As for Park Ave, again, landmarking on the premier commercial corridor, in the largest business district in the world, in one of the financial capitals of the world is unrealistic. There are landmarked buildings in Midtown, unfortunately the Drake wasn't one of them. Move on. This speaks to the bias in this thread, instead of focusing on what the city has done and continues to do in regards to preservation, you focus on ONE building which was demolished, instead of looking at the hundreds of buildings which have been landmarked in the last year.

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Originally Posted by RegentHouse View Post
What you are referring to are just some gentrified areas that were formerly poor places considered insanitary compared to newly-built commie blocks, which were unlivable spaces to begin with.
So you're content with calling, Greenwich Village, Soho, Noho, St. Marks district, the East Village, South St Seaport, Stone St, and Tribeca, just some areas, and throw their landmarked status to the way side? The LPC has only been around since 1965, there have been some losses, but as a whole, Lower Manhattan in particular is very well preserved.

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Originally Posted by RegentHouse View Post
It looks like a stretched-out freak of everything wrong with modernism, is going to be built on the some of the city's most valuable land, and replaced a beautiful hotel. What's not to hate?
The developer hasn't even finalized the concrete they'll use, it's not exactly fair to pass judgement on it yet. Look at the One57 thread and read peoples responses when the first vague renderings were released, people were underwhelmed, now it's pretty universally at least liked.
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Old November 5th, 2012, 06:30 PM   #126
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It's a little misleading to show older buildings at their height and then the modern replacement. Very often those older buildings were run down and in terrible shape before they were demolished. In the US many of them were horribly disfigured by facade retrofits, cornice and parapet removals and windows being filled in. Add soot, decay and poorly maintained and outdated mechanicals and you have situations that prompted demolition. Painstaking restoration can be expensive, take more time than a new build, and in the case of NYC, be too limiting in terms of uses and lost GLA (gross Leasable area) opportunities that developers opt to demo. Buildings that are landmarked do get renovated and restored.
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Old November 5th, 2012, 07:12 PM   #127
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Very often those older buildings were run down and in terrible shape before they were demolished.
Maybe so, but modern replacements are often of inferior aesthetic quality. The Gardiners corner burned down in the 60s, I believe, and only the shell was left, however, the replacement buildings are incredibly ugly. Yes maybe erecting stuff like this is a cheaper option than full restoration, but is it a better and more attractive one?
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Old November 5th, 2012, 09:45 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by Hudson11 View Post
as long as there are sections of the city like this

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i don't mind seeing a few older buildings razed.
Geat photo of a part of NYC with a healthy mix of old and new, high and low. (more old than new making it visually interesting)
One skyscraper after another creates a gloomy streetscape, you need relief from the very tall buildings. The Met. Life and Flatiron, both in this photo, are iconic NYC buildings IMO far more handsome than the vast majority of banal boxes built in the last 50 years. If NYC continues to lose too many of it's older buildings it might end up looking like a Middle Eastern nightmare viz. Abu Dhabi!
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Old November 5th, 2012, 09:51 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by yankeesfan1000 View Post
The point right off the bat that needs to be made in regard to Drake and Hotel Penn is that they reside in the largest business district in the world, and preservation on a wide scale is not realistic, unless New York is willing to concede its status as a premier commercial center. Granted, that sort of a shift would take decades, but if you start landmarking everything in Midtown, no new offices, so companies slowly leave. However there are still plenty of prewar buildings that are in Midtown.
Many have already left, and NYC botched multiple chances when coaxing them to stay. First, when many moved from Lower Manhattan to Park Avenue, and then from there to all around Midtown. Now, many have left the city and even state because of years of idiot mayors (until Giuliani) and anti-business sentiment statewide. Personally, I think NYC should be it's own governing region to be more efficient, similar to Hong Kong or Tokyo, but that's a whole new ball game.

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Right because it wasn't like the city was near bankruptcy on numerous occasions during the 1970s due to a massive flight of population, and subsequent erosion of the tax base. The entire dark period of NY in the 70s and 80s was because of hippies. Nailed it.
No, it was because of what I said above, and I'm sure you'll agree. What hippies have done is make almost every neighborhood in Manhattan, apart from the Upper East Side (which is too expensive for the majority of Manhattan's white collar workforce) and stereotypically bad ones (Harlem), cesspools of Bohemian filth.

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I have to ask, have you ever seen the Hotel Penn? Been inside? Not only has the interior been gutted and now resembles a cheap Reno motel, but that stretch of 7th Ave has buildings that look almost identical to the Hotel Penn, and in my opinion are much more attractive. And how in the world does the Hotel Penn represent New York in any way? Hotel Penn is nothing special, in a city like New York which has thousands upon thousands of much more attractive buildings, landmarked and unlandmarked, from the same period.
Yes it's in a sad state, but it can be restored to its former glory. It represents NYC as a surviving relic of the days of White's former Pennsylvania Station. Also, your statement about the hotel looking identical to surrounding buildings is absurd and a generalization. What does look identical are the dozens of Uris Brothers era excrecement from the 60s.

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No you're not talking about major areas of Lower Manhattan, because a hugeee percentage of Lower Manhattan is made up pre 1950 buildings, with enormous swaths being landmarked. I have to imagine you've never been to New York. I have lived in Lower Manhattan my entire life, know it like the back of my hand, it is incredibly well preserved. Give me some examples since 1965, the creation of the LPC, otherwise you're speaking purely in hyperbolic terms.
The streetscape sucks. Even Wall Street is a sad state.

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The developer hasn't even finalized the concrete they'll use, it's not exactly fair to pass judgement on it yet. Look at the One57 thread and read peoples responses when the first vague renderings were released, people were underwhelmed, now it's pretty universally at least liked.
WHAT DOES CONCRETE HAVE TO DO WITH HOW IT LOOKS? IT'S STILL A BOX SPECIFICALLY INTENDED TO HAVE LITTLE ARCHITECTURAL MERIT IN THE NAME OF MINIMALISM.

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Old November 6th, 2012, 10:12 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by RegentHouse View Post
......
No, it was because of what I said above, and I'm sure you'll agree. What hippies have done is make almost every neighborhood in Manhattan, apart from the Upper East Side (which is too expensive for the majority of Manhattan's white collar workforce) and stereotypically bad ones (Harlem), cesspools of Bohemian filth.
....
Hippies?

You make Manhattan sound like Haight Ashbury circa 1967.

Where are you getting these ideas?
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Old November 6th, 2012, 10:31 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by erbse View Post

Dumb York is of course thought provoking and there's the question mark for a reason. But NYC finally needs to wake up, it keeps going with that behavior wherever you look (historical Penn Hotel being only one of the more prominent recent examples).

I happen at agree with you about many of these comments - especially about Penn Station, a masterpiece that was destroyed. An architectural crime.

But Manhattan is a tiny, congested island and the center of finance and trade and commercial enterprise in the western hemisphere. It isn't possible to keep all of the wonderful old buildings.

It is possible to replace what is beautiful with something else that is beautiful. The old Waldorf Astoria - a splendid edifice - was replaced by the Empire State Building. So imagination and talent can be used to replace what is lost.



http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/...raphed-in-1899

Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, photographed in 1899.
Credit: Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.




source:
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Again, I do agree with much of what you say. The loss of old New York is very sad. I grew up with grandparents who talked about that very often.
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Old November 6th, 2012, 10:35 PM   #132
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There is some good news in recent years.

The Penn Station debacle and other losses have galvanized many New Yorkers and there are numerous buildings that have been saved from future wrecking balls: this is taken from a recent New York Times article.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...rk-protection/

Quote:
More Than 200 Buildings Gain Landmark Protection
By AARON EDWARDS


N.Y. C. Landmarks Preservation Commission
The Bowery Bank of New York building is now a city landmark.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission closed its last meeting of the 2012 fiscal year with the addition of 190 buildings to the Riverside-West End Historic District on the Upper West Side, the designation of a new historic district in Crown Heights and the naming of three buildings in Lower Manhattan as landmarks.

The buildings in the new Riverside-West End extension, bounded by West 87th and West 79th Streets west of Broadway, were built between the mid-1880s and the late 1930s.

They include an eclectic mix of brownstones and apartment buildings in neo-Grec, Romanesque, Renaissance and Elizabethan Revival styles.

New to the city’s list of landmarks is the old American Stock Exchange building on the western edge of the financial district and, on the Bowery, the Bowery Bank of New York building and the Bowery Mission.

The buildings and districts, which vary in architectural style and location, put the number of buildings and sites protected by landmark status in New York City during the fiscal year, which ends Saturday, at 1,035.

Thirteen Queen Anne and Romanesque Revival-style row houses in Brooklyn on the western edge of Crown Heights between Bedford and Franklin Avenues, now designated as the Park Place Historic District, have been newly protected. Built in 1890, these row houses were built as single-family homes for the upper middle class.

The old American Stock Exchange building, formally known as the New York Curb Exchange, has long been of interest to the commission, which has been trying to give it landmark status for several years, officials said.

“For more than 90 years this building, part of which was constructed during a period of great financial uncertainty in this city and country, housed an entity that greatly influenced U.S. financial markets,” the commission’s chairman, Robert B. Tierney, said in a statement. “The building is now poised for a second act, and we applaud the owner for being so supportive of its designation as a landmark.”
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Old November 6th, 2012, 10:45 PM   #133
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I will add that the loss of the old Drake was painful and poignant. The wonderful Manhattan of the 20s, 30s and 40s and Park Avenue elegance and class is slowly disappearing.
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Old November 6th, 2012, 11:53 PM   #134
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No, it's not!! There are comments on this page disproving that!

Maybe the 3-4 unmarked buildings in the middle of the city center might get demolished one day, but to say that Manhattan is losing its old style is just plain wrong.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 12:34 AM   #135
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It always hurts to see an old beauty like the Drake demolished, but destruction of historical structures isn't really a problem in NYC because VAST swaths of the city are made up entirely of landmarked pre-war structures.

Detroit is a city truly threatened by demolition of historic structures, it is a completely different city in the year 2012. In New York the narrative should be focused on ensuring new structures respect the urban fabric, not so much on killing all new structures.
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Old November 9th, 2012, 05:29 PM   #136
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By these standards, NYC of the 1950s and 60s would not just be dumb, but mentally incapable of even thinking.

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Old November 10th, 2012, 01:07 PM   #137
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^ So it was. Many or rather most of the cities around the globe were. The 50s, 60s and 70s are almost universally considered to be the worst in cultural and architectural destruction by presevationists, historians and reasonable architects and urban planners.

We have to revise some of these irresponsible failures and do our best to not repeat them.

With things like those happened at the 432 Park site, we're doing the contrary.
The buildings could easily have been preserved and the new tower could have been way less harmful to the cityscape.

I'm not saying we should prevent urban development at all - we should just develop in a smart, sustainable way that maintains and improves our unique cityscapes and identities around the globe. NYC shouldn't be an exception to this.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 08:49 PM   #138
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In 1920, NY looked largely indistinguishable from London, for example. This was what 5th Ave in Midtown once looked like:

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That being said, most of the destruction occurred in Midtown and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Aves on the UES. Other than those limited areas, the overwhelming majority of Manhattan and Brooklyn is dominated by areas with a sea of old structures. Unlike Midtown, Most of those areas are landmarked.

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Old November 10th, 2012, 09:02 PM   #139
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5th avenue still has plenty of old charm to it, even in Midtown.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 09:07 PM   #140
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5th avenue still has plenty of old charm to it, even in Midtown.
I agree. Architecturally, however, the area between 42nd St and 57th St (ie, the heart of Midtown) is the worst stretch of 5th. Areas south and north of there are much better.



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