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View Poll Results: Do you think the demolition of Singer Building was the worst architectural crime?
Yes 31 39.24%
No, I can mention others 48 60.76%
Voters: 79. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 6th, 2007, 10:02 PM   #21
philvia
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out with the old, in with the new
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Old July 7th, 2007, 02:12 AM   #22
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The following two buildings in Bucharest, Romania were destroyed in 1939 to widen the plaza of the Royal Palace:

The Commercial Academy

the building on the right of the Commercial Academy is the former Palace of Carol I University Foundation (now BCU)

The Nation Bank

(with BCU on the left, with the statue of Carol I in front of it)


The Royal Palace (well, it's an interesting building as well, but common... tear down those two just so this one could have a wider plaza?)


This is how the area looks today(the Royal Palace on the left, BCU in the middle):
image hosted on flickr

(most people in Bucharest dislike that Skewered Potato monument)
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Old July 7th, 2007, 03:15 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalB View Post

Right skyline.


Wrong skyline.

I think they should re-build the WTC but in black, it would be choking
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Old July 7th, 2007, 03:29 AM   #24
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If they are to be rebuilt, they will look more like this, and this hardly status-quo ante-bellum.

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Old July 7th, 2007, 12:37 PM   #25
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Some examples of destroyed trainstations from Berlin.

G÷rlitzer Bahnhof completed 1866




torn down in 1951. reason being: the land on which it stood was needed:

this is how it looks today: (its a park )



Anhalter Bahnhof completed in 1841






blown up in 1959. Reason: a new trainstation should have been built and the old building was damaged and therefore too dangerous.
Turns out that the building was so stable that they had to blow it up.

Today its no-mans land.
This is what has been left of the station:



Platform remains:



Lehrter Bahnhof built in 1868, torn down in 1951 and replaced with no-mans land




Potsdamer Bahnhof completed in 1838, heavily damaged during the war and later completely removed.



Today:



Stettiner Bahnhof completed in 1842




torn down in 1962

Whats left of it today:


Last edited by GNU; July 7th, 2007 at 12:51 PM.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 03:58 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eklips View Post
Whatever hapenned, the WTC towers were still ugly as hell buildings.
No, they were beautiful.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 05:16 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eklips View Post
Yes utterly idiotic.

But who knows, ugly towers from the 60's-70's are being destroyed nowadays. Maybe we will cry their loss in 40 years.
Very few I'd guess, a mixture of lack of funds and corrupt devolpers who misused concepts of "form follows function" to give totally uninspired proposals fake credibility.

Last edited by MoreOrLess; July 7th, 2007 at 08:24 PM.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 05:43 PM   #28
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Depressing thread...
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Old July 8th, 2007, 02:58 AM   #29
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Could people please stop talking about the WTC? It's normal to mention it, but I'm sure that there are specific threads for further debate. Don't hijack this one.
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Old July 8th, 2007, 05:23 AM   #30
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NYC alone has a number of crimes in architecture. However, most don't even know that many of its major buildings were built over places that could have been saved. Another thing is that NYC is one of the last cities in the world to preserve its past especially if it's in a major area. This is unfortunate but true in many cases.

WTC: Built over Raido Row and the Hudson Terminal Bldgs.
ESB: Built over the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
MSG: Built over the station house of Penn Station.
1 Liberty Plaza: Built over the Singer Bldg.
Citigroup Ctr: Built over the original St Peter's Lutheran Church.
Rockefeller Ctr: Built over numerous blocks in midtown Manhattan.
WSB: Built over numerous rows in Ft Green.
MTC: Built over numerous blocks in downtown Brooklyn.
TWC: Built over the NY Coliseum.
1 Bryant Pk: Built over the Remington Bldg.
Housing projects by Robert Moses: Built over numerous blocks in the LES and Harlem.
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Old July 8th, 2007, 05:57 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goschio View Post
No, they were beautiful.
What is beautiful about two bland monoliths?
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Old July 8th, 2007, 05:50 PM   #32
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What about the Abbay of Cluny ?
It's been destroyed during the French revolution, when it was then the 2nd largest church in the world after St-Peter's. Built in 910 AD, it used to be the largest Romanesque church in the world.



Here's what remains nowadays : one wing.

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Old July 8th, 2007, 06:57 PM   #33
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Chicago was the birthplace of the modern skyscraper as you all know. But the loosely grouped architects that worked as part of the late 19th century Chicago school of architecture were also the innovators in other fields. Terra Cotta in large buildings and the use of large bay windows, exploiting the newest technologies of the day, were their recurring themes. In addition many made contributions to city planning and urban development as present today as the the notion of the skyscraper.

Their influence may have wained after the 1893 Columbia exhibition, which set the style for beaux arts, classicist architecture, but the ideas they espoused returned in European modernism and the shift towards streamlining in 30's America.

After all it was Louis Sullivan that coined the phrase 'Form ever follows function' to be modified into Ludwig Mies de Rohe axiom 'form is function' years later.

Sadly, a lot of these masterpieces have been lost to the same forces of trade and retail that lead to their construction, mixed with the hubris of postwar city planning.

Here are some:

William Le Baron Jenney is seen as the father of the modern skyscraper, innovator of the steel framed in office buildings. One of his most famous buildings, often cited as the world's first true skyscraper was the Home Insurance Building, built in 1885 demolished in 1931:



Another; the first Lieter building, the inspiration of the Lieter II which still stands today. Built 1879, demolished in 1972.




William Holabird and Martin Roche met whilst working as draftsmen in William Le Baron Jenney's office.
Their eventual firm would build the famous Tacoma building with engineer George Fuller. Being the first building not to rely on its outer walls for load bearing, the light bay windows (so associated with the 'Chicago style') were installed. Completed in 1889, demolished in 1929.



Another skyscraper pioneer, Daniel Burnham, in conjunction with John Root, built many famous Chicago school buildings. Upons Root's death, many criticized Burnham for embracing the new classicist style which Louis Sullivan claimed would put architecture 'back 50 years.' However, his fame only increased with many landmark buildings attributed to his name and that of John Root.

The Masonic temple Building in 1892, a year after Root's death, was briefly the world's tallest building.



Demolished in 1939, an expedient to subway construction, was replaced with a two story building!

Another Burnham; the less known Majestic Building, built in 1896, became famous when its innovative Terra Cotta construction contained a fire in 1915, that could have spread and destroyed other buildings easily.


demolished in 1962.

Louis Sulivan, perhaps the most famous of these architects, joined the prestigious firm of Darkman and Alder in 1879. Together, Louis Sullivan designed numerous buildings of superb quality. Although, heavily influenced by French Beaux-arts design whilst working in the offices of John Elderman, he always argued that design should be integral to a building's form, balanced throughout. He believed in the idea that ornamentation should be integral to the building itself, rather than merely applied.

However, his buildings were not immune to the wrecker's ball either, in fact, most have gone -
The Stock exchange of Chicago was built in 1894, demolished in 1972.



Schiller theater was finished in 1892, knocked down in 1960.



Designed by Edward Baumann and Harris W. Huehl, the (third) Chamber of Commerce Building was erected on the southeast corner of LaSalle and Washington Streets between 1888 and 1889. It was influenced by the Home Insurance building and was the most advanced work of structural art at the time of its completion. Demolished in 1928.



These are just some of the buildings that are now gone. Even if individually some may have been too obscure to be a loss on a par of some of the greatest, the collective loss of so much architectural history, in many cases completely unnecessarily, should be lamented.

Unfortunately, there are still perils facing the remaining buildings.
The historic Farewell Building, located on the magnificent Mile, a designated Landmark, is in danger from a scheme put forward by Prism developments. They propose to demolish it, and rebuild its facade into the lower portion of a new 40 story apartment tower complete with fake windows to hide the parking garage behind it- almost as a patronising jest to what came before.

A building is more than its facade, the internal design is of equal importance, to deny this would be leveling the status of Landmark to a triviality, endangering all other buildings with this status. The very thing it was meant to prevent.

'This French inspired design, highlighted with both Art Deco and Classical Revival details, exemplified the work of architect Philip Maher. Clad in limestone, the building features ornamental cast stone panels and a slate mansard roof.' - 'preservationchicago.org'

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Last edited by PresidentBjork; July 8th, 2007 at 08:44 PM.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 02:25 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _00_deathscar View Post
What is beautiful about two bland monoliths?
It depends on who is viewing it.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 09:10 AM   #35
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OHhhh!!! I didn't know that this kind of things happened so oftenly in "developed countries" too.
Such a pity tha German Castle, and the imperial institute in London, it was so beautiful.

This is an "before and after" in Buenos Aires. Although I still like how the corner is now, with its combination, this change was very criticized in the argentinian forum. Notice for reference, the mansion in the middle:


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Old July 9th, 2007, 11:19 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalB View Post
I won't argue that it was wrong to demolish the Singer Bldg for 1 Liberty Plaza. The same thing when the took down the stationhouse of Penn Station to build MSG over it. However, I find that replacing the Twins, a worldwide symbol, with that ilegitimate replacement known as the Freedom Tower to be the worse crime than those two combined. It is as if saying that officialls were looking for a way to get rid of them, and 9/11 gave them every reason to do so. It is like saying that we should replace the ESB with something less or any other major building in other city b/c they are expendable. Please do not grill me for saying this, b/c this is just my opinion and it only reprsents me.

Right skyline.


Wrong skyline.
I agree. I don't think I'll ever think of the New York Skyline without the original World Trade Center. I don't know why they wouldn't just ******* rebuild the twins. It's like knocking down the Sears Tower, Eiffel Tower, Jin Mao, or Petronas towers and building something else. What the ****.



I should add that demolishing the Singer Building was really stupid as well. It was a beautiful looking building.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 01:53 PM   #37
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Karstadt Berlin (department store) built in 1929

It was not torn down but blown up by retreating german soldiers during the battle of Berlin in 1945.




Nowadays:

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Old July 10th, 2007, 10:59 PM   #38
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Much as I like the design of the Singer Building, I would say the destruction of the Penn Station has to be the worst Architectural crime in US history.

Checker:
Weren't any of those Berlin stations damaged by bombs in 1945?

PresidentBjork:
Since all of your other posted buildings were in Chicago, I thought I would point out that Daniel Burnham's Majestic Building is located in Detroit and was one that city's early skyscrapers. His firm built four high-rise buidings in Detroit from 1890 to about 1920. The Majestic was torn down as you noted while the other three still stand: Ford Building (in use), David Whitney Building (empty), and Dime Building (in use).

As far as the WTC goes, the primary intent of the 19 highjackers was not to commit a crime against architecture. Perhaps this thread should be limited to architecture that was willfully destroyed by the owners (or by the city through eminant domain) rather than by acts of war.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 11:45 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DecoJim View Post
Checker:
Weren't any of those Berlin stations damaged by bombs in 1945?
Yes, some were only a bit damaged and others were damaged heavily.
Dont forget the battle of Berlin aswell during which a lot of buildings were destroyed.
But, as far as I know, all stations were being usd again after the war.
They could have easily been saved and restored.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 12:26 AM   #40
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Yeah, sorry, I gotta a bit carried away with Daniel Burnham and should have mentioned it was in Detroit.

However, I still see it as an example of how in many cases the early skyscrapers face peril.

The loss or potential loss of architectural history in Detroit deserves its own specific post.
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