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Old March 21st, 2016, 02:32 AM   #241
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They should have done what they did with the Hearst tower and built the new skyscraper around the old ones because even I (one who's not really big into preservation) think that those smaller mid-rises should be preserved.
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Old March 22nd, 2016, 07:00 AM   #242
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No, of course they don't. NYC totally lacks the historical depth of European cities, where most old towns go back to medieval or even ancient times.

But that's not the point. NYC is constantly tearing down really valuable gems, while there would be other options. Like including the historical buildings, using other construction lots or tearing down nondescript buildings without greater value. Instead, it often chooses to demolish true gems. It needs to be more self-aware in this regard.

Most buildings in historic European and American cities were built at the same time (late 19th/early 20th centuries). Yes there is a small number of older buildings in some European cities but not a very significant percentage except in Italy. New York has massive protected historic districts that you choose to repeatedly ignore. The CBD is a modern business hub and stays relevant. Compare to Hong Kong's lack of any historic preservation for a more fair comparison by global terms.
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Old March 22nd, 2016, 08:57 PM   #243
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I'm not comparing an autocratic regime like that of China to the US here, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Though luckily China became more aware of its great valuable heritage lately.

What you said about European cities, well 19th and 20th century districts are the greatest bulk of course, as that's when industrialisation really kicked in. But there's large portions of earlier styles in most historical European towns and cities, especially from classicist, baroque and also renaissance times, many large churches/cathedrals and also some of the better known profane buildings are Gothic or even Romanesque. Not just in Italy, but all across the continent.

New York's protected districts don't help a lot with the problem mentioned here really. They often protect low- and midrise buildings in still homogenous districts, which is fine. But in addition, the densified CBD would need more protection. It wouldn't even stand in the way of most developments, it'd just change their character a little bit. Heck, they can do facadectomies at least, come on! 31W 57th Street is a perfect example of such an area where heritage protection would be a must imho. Everyone's talking about sustainability these days, but when it comes to sustaining buildings or at least some facades it's all unsubstantial hogwash?
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Old March 22nd, 2016, 08:57 PM   #244
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But that's not the point. NYC is constantly tearing down really valuable gems, while there would be other options. Like including the historical buildings, using other construction lots or tearing down nondescript buildings without greater value. Instead, it often chooses to demolish true gems. It needs to be more self-aware in this regard.
The problem is this 'self awareness' and focus on preservation is focused on a few neighborhoods. There are incredibly strict preservation standards for neighborhoods like SoHo and Park Slope. But in less homogenous neighborhoods, developers can get away with tearing down nice old buildings. Preservation is HUGE in NYC, community boards and the LPC have a lot of influence, but there is just a lack of a comprehensive plan or design review process so developers exploit that.

Still, LPC creates or expands new historic districts and individual landmarks every year, and it's usually gas stations, parking lots, and ugly/nondescript buildings that get developed, but I agree too many nice buildings get lost as well.
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Old March 22nd, 2016, 09:02 PM   #245
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^ Yes, totally agree with you Mr. Vendetta. NYC definitely needs more individually protected landmarks, especially in Midtown and Downtown. Actually most pre-war (and some post-war) buildings there should be protected, except for some nondescript mass-produces that you'd find anywhere else.
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Old March 22nd, 2016, 09:15 PM   #246
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^ Yes, totally agree with you Mr. Vendetta. NYC definitely needs more individually protected landmarks, especially in Midtown and Downtown. Actually most pre-war (and some post-war) buildings there should be protected, except for some nondescript mass-produces that you'd find anywhere else.
Actually, couple years ago the Manhattan borough president proposed a sort of fantasy legislation that would protect every NYC building over 50 years. It didn't pass because it was too logistically challenging, but it shows at least some people in power take the issue seriously. And lately there's been a lot of pressure on LPC to get through their massive backlog of properties and it seems to be working, as last month they decided to landmark 30 new items. Still lots of work to be done, though.

Also, it's Ms. not Mr.
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Old March 24th, 2016, 01:06 AM   #247
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Originally Posted by erbse View Post
I'm not comparing an autocratic regime like that of China to the US here, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Though luckily China became more aware of its great valuable heritage lately.

What you said about European cities, well 19th and 20th century districts are the greatest bulk of course, as that's when industrialisation really kicked in. But there's large portions of earlier styles in most historical European towns and cities, especially from classicist, baroque and also renaissance times, many large churches/cathedrals and also some of the better known profane buildings are Gothic or even Romanesque. Not just in Italy, but all across the continent.

New York's protected districts don't help a lot with the problem mentioned here really. They often protect low- and midrise buildings in still homogenous districts, which is fine. But in addition, the densified CBD would need more protection. It wouldn't even stand in the way of most developments, it'd just change their character a little bit. Heck, they can do facadectomies at least, come on! 31W 57th Street is a perfect example of such an area where heritage protection would be a must imho. Everyone's talking about sustainability these days, but when it comes to sustaining buildings or at least some facades it's all unsubstantial hogwash?
Hong Kong was ruled by the British during its period of rapid development, albeit autocratically. I'd rather not stifle development in the CBD but as you can see many other cities have completely erased their old heritage (like I said British-ruled Hong Kong).
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Old May 19th, 2016, 06:04 PM   #248
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Old May 19th, 2016, 10:08 PM   #249
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Nothing but rubble left of great buildings that were breathing over a century of history...
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Old May 19th, 2016, 11:21 PM   #250
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For a building to be Prep, wouldn't there have to be some trace of, like, people?
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Old May 20th, 2016, 04:49 PM   #251
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^ Yes, totally agree with you Mr. Vendetta. NYC definitely needs more individually protected landmarks, especially in Midtown and Downtown. Actually most pre-war (and some post-war) buildings there should be protected, except for some nondescript mass-produces that you'd find anywhere else.
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Old May 21st, 2016, 11:17 PM   #252
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^ Yes, totally agree with you Mr. Vendetta. NYC definitely needs more individually protected landmarks, especially in Midtown and Downtown. Actually most pre-war (and some post-war) buildings there should be protected, except for some nondescript mass-produces that you'd find anywhere else.
The term "landmark" is very much abused. At the minimum a landmark should be something individually recognized by people who don't live near it. The fact a building is old should not be enough.

If they want to preserve an entire neighborhood that can be good. It can become an old town like thing. Its not that each building would be significant but as a whole it would be a place people could go and see how the city once looked.

Many of these buildings that people want or are land-marked would not be missed by anyone in a generation. And removal of that building could lead to the construction of something truly distinguishable.

I am not against communities being able to have some control over what is built. But it should be more about design than height. It would be a case of you can remove these pretty older buildings but the new tower must have a good design and not just some glass box.
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Old May 22nd, 2016, 09:51 AM   #253
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The term "landmark" is very much abused. At the minimum a landmark should be something individually recognized by people who don't live near it. The fact a building is old should not be enough.

If they want to preserve an entire neighborhood that can be good. It can become an old town like thing. Its not that each building would be significant but as a whole it would be a place people could go and see how the city once looked.

Many of these buildings that people want or are land-marked would not be missed by anyone in a generation. And removal of that building could lead to the construction of something truly distinguishable.

I am not against communities being able to have some control over what is built. But it should be more about design than height. It would be a case of you can remove these pretty older buildings but the new tower must have a good design and not just some glass box.
I don't think anyone is for a museum city. But the reason we want to preserve old structures is precisely because the stuff that's replacing is very rarely up-to-par. I don't think anyone's crying about what preceded 111 West 57th. We got something incredible out of it. But I don't want to destroy old Art Deco and Grand Central era gems only to be replaced by a taller blue glass box. And unfortunately, that's what we seem to be getting.

Look at what's being built behind Trinity Church. A condo tower full of dark blue cladding. How original. It's taller than what was there before. But it's clearly a downgrade. People don't come to New York to see cookie-cutter condos and blue boxes. They can get that in Frankfurt or Toronto or Seoul.

They come for the Art Deco, the feel of Gotham, the old clocks, the grand lobbies, the golden domes, the limestone gems, the gothic spires and the intersection between old pre-War stunners and architecturally avant-garde modern supertalls. I've yet to meet someone who says, "I love New York because it's building tons of non-descript boxes." So as a city, New York should treasure those qualities that make it unique. People say, "what's wrong with demolishing 5 out of the 100 pre-wars? They're all the same thing!"

It's that kind of slippery slope that allows developers to see no problem with going further. By fighting for the Rizzolis and the Roosevelt Hotels, you are ensuring that developers think twice before making plans to raze historic structures. Considering how inept the Landmark Preservation Commission is, it's clear that the public is the one that has to protect these structures and to keep up the pressure.
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Old June 15th, 2017, 09:20 PM   #254
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It's been a year, any updates so far?
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Old October 3rd, 2017, 08:57 AM   #255
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Wow, so these greedy scumbags demolished those beautiful old buildings for an empty lot. Whatever is put up here will not be as visually interesting as what went down, that's for sure. Bunch of philistines couldn't even consider a fašadectomy because they were not required to. Just demolishing the old towers and now nothing. It just shows how much they really care about the city, basically zilch. Although I used to admire developers building great towers, I'm starting to hate their lack of interest in old buildings and their whitewashing of history. Although the excuses will come out here about how NY has plenty of nice old buildings left, the slow destruction of old buildings in the city like these will take its toll, especially in midtown where they are usually not protected. 57th street is now a good bit uglier than it was. NYC just demolishes its past like its no big deal. Thoughtless and stupid.

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