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Edward
April 4th, 2003, 11:43 AM
http://www.nymetro.com/nymetro/news/anniversary/35th/n_8569/
New York Magazine's 35th Anniversary
Space Invaders
The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline.

By Joseph Giovannini

1. PENN STATION COMPLEX, Midtown, including Madison Square Garden and 2 Penn Plaza, by Charles Luckman Associates (1968): We tore down McKim, Mead and White’s Pennsylvania Station for this?

2. PARAMOUNT PLAZA, at 1633 Broadway, by Emery Roth & Sons (1968): A cheap black box with glitzy stainless-steel suspenders set behind a windswept plaza with two inexplicable holes in the ground.

3. ONE ASTOR PLAZA, at 1515 Broadway, by Kahn & Jacobs, with chief designer Der Scutt (1969): Infamous for its crown of rabbit ears, and just as clumsy on the ground, where the hulk dominates Broadway.

4. 1185 SIXTH AVENUE, by Emery Roth & Sons (1971): The most offensive of the long line of offenders along Sixth Avenue north of 42nd Street. Mean, ugly, and big.

5. NEW YORK TELEPHONE COMPANY BUILDING, 1095 Sixth Avenue, opposite Bryant Park, by Kahn & Jacobs (1974): This bland tower makes an unsuccessful try at collaging three architectural scales together—medium, tall, and Goliathan—to warm up the company’s image. Cold to the touch; needs a face-lift.

6. THE EX-AT&T BUILDING (1984), 33 MAIDEN LANE (1986), and 885 Third Avenue, a.k.a. the LIPSTICK BUILDING (1986): The worst of many by architecture’s Public Enemy No. 1, Philip Johnson, the cynic who believes in no style but practices them all.

7. 60 WALL STREET, by Kevin Roche (1989): A gargantua set within downtown’s fragile street network, its façade detailed whimsically to look like a column. Ha ha.

8. ONE WORLDWIDE PLAZA, at 935 Eighth Avenue, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (1989): Guilty of postmodernist me-tooism—a middlebrow attempt at ye olde Ralph Lauren. Complete with a failed English-style shopping gallery at its base. Wrong city, wrong century.

Fabb
April 4th, 2003, 11:47 AM
I agree with #6 and 7.

The other ones are OK... or really great in some cases.

NYatKNIGHT
April 4th, 2003, 12:16 PM
I mostly agree with the list although I can think of worse: 55 Water and 1 Liberty for starters. I like the World Wide Plaza and the Lipstick Building though.

Just Rich
April 4th, 2003, 12:29 PM
The only building in this list and probably the only building in NY that I truly hate is 60 Wall Street. *The location, the bulk, the laughable design make for a disastrous effect on the skyline.

tugrul
April 4th, 2003, 12:36 PM
3, 6 and 8 need to be dropped from that list.

I almost said #1 as well, but 1 Penn Plaza doesn't seem included in that one, and the rest of that complex is nasty.

For the others, as Rich, I only truly hate 60 Wall. The others are just filler, although #5 is pretty damn prominent. Hopefully that relatively large plot north of it will bear something that sidelines it.

I'm mildly amused that Metlife didn't make it, even tho I love that one.

JMGarcia
April 4th, 2003, 12:46 PM
1. Agreed. Very ugly by and large. Especially bad considering what was replaced. 1 Penn is the best of the lot though.

2. Not great but better than any number of other black boxes.

3. Disagree. While not great it works well on the skyline.

4. Not good but bland enough not to be insulting.

5. Hardly among the top 10 worst. Not all that bad for its era.

6. 33 Maiden Lane is pretty bad but the ATT and Lipstick building are quite good.

7. 60 Wall only works well on the street level, exactly what he complains about. On the list but not for the right reason.

8. Compared to some other montrosities in the city this hardly qualifies.

Worst of the rest

1251 6th
55 Water St.
Solow
Mcgraw Hill
Home Insurance
888 7th
919 Third

I could go on.

jack
April 4th, 2003, 01:02 PM
does anyone have any pictures of these?

JMGarcia
April 4th, 2003, 01:24 PM
You can find pictures of most of them at www.skyscrapers.com

Fabb
April 4th, 2003, 01:46 PM
I think Joseph Giovannini doesn't really love NY.
The big, fat, tall buildings of the 60s and 70s are part of the cityscape, and every NY lover should accept them.

In fact, they're much better than the tall, anemic buildings like 425, 5th, or the squat boxes like CIBC that flourish in Manhattan right now.

dbhstockton
April 4th, 2003, 02:35 PM
I'm surprised that there's no Trump on the list. *
I'd put them in this order, from worst to less worse:

7. *Ruins the whole damn skyline),
1 . 1 Penn blocks ESB when coming in from NJ, sign on top is hideous, and of course the whole complex is awful, one of the worst mistakes in NY architecture
5. *Hurts to look at, combination of offensive design and slapdash construction
2. *Trully tacky , messes up broadway at street level
6. *Just because 33 Maiden Lane is so ugly--the other two I like-- but if you were to weigh them, the ugliness of 33 maiden Lane has done far more harm than the other two combined have done good.
3. *doesn't bother me that much. *They did tear down an historic nice hotel, but NYC has historic hotels out the ying-yang -- they tore one down to build the ESB.
8. *everything he said about it is right, but it has many redeeming qualities. *I like how it works as a complex and it looks fantastic in the skyline -- at night from a distance. *I see tourists taking pictures of it all the time! *If you squint your eyes when you look at it, you can't tell how chintzy the masonry cladding is.

dbhstockton
April 4th, 2003, 02:37 PM
I forgot 1185 6th ave, but that one doesn't bother me that much, either. *It fits in with its neighbors.

tugrul
April 4th, 2003, 03:07 PM
Whats so bad about 33 Maiden Lane? Are we not talking about the same building?

http://www.skyscrapers.com/files/transfer/6/2002/12/176973.jpg

It caught my eye years ago when I was in high school as the little medieval fortress of downtown :) I've been fond of it since.

I also have a soft spot for the neon red sign on 1 Penn Plaza. I have an image of it hovering over Union Square on a rainy night etched into my mind.

dbhstockton
April 4th, 2003, 04:07 PM
Wel, there's no accounting for taste. *You don't think 33 maiden lane looks like it was designed by an 11-year-old and built out of legos? *It's an ugly color, there's little subtlety to the design, and the quality of construction is poor. *It's a crude joke of a building, especially when you the real thing to compare it to nearby (Federal Reserve). *I can't stand half-assed historicism.

dbhstockton
April 4th, 2003, 04:19 PM
The Federal Reserve. *This is how you do a medieval fortress:

http://www.TheInsider.com/nyc/photos/fedres.JPG

TAFisher123
April 4th, 2003, 04:29 PM
cant believe metlife didnt make the list, seems like a lot of people that building although i like it, it does block the view

DominicanoNYC
April 4th, 2003, 04:39 PM
Don't forget SOM's other bulking horror the Mount Siani building on 100th street. Ugly, just plain ugly.

dbhstockton
April 4th, 2003, 04:56 PM
Yeah, that's a bad one. *Does anybody have any other additions to the list? *

What's the address of that 1960's monstrosity on the southeast corner of Herald/Greely Square? *It ruins a lot of views of the ESB.

JMGarcia
April 4th, 2003, 04:58 PM
Good pics...

http://www.skyscrapers.com/files/transfer/6/2002/12/176973.jpg

That's the Home Insurance building hovering above it to the left.

Which is uglier? IMO, the Home Insurance building. I guess I just dislike blank walls more than I dislike kitsch.

tugrul
April 4th, 2003, 05:00 PM
Quote: from dbhstockton on 3:07 pm on April 4, 2003
You don't think 33 maiden lane looks like it was designed by an 11-year-old and built out of legos? *It's an ugly color, there's little subtlety to the design, and the quality of construction is poor.

The fact that I spent 4 years in the following building might explain why the color doesn't bother me.

http://www.shsaa.org/assets/images/db_images/db_199808_front3.jpg

It slowly but surely wore me down into liking it.

And I do have a soft spot for legos too :)

I can see your point, but I don't see how its so bad that it outweighs the other two.

dbhstockton
April 4th, 2003, 05:02 PM
Don't get me wrong; I don't dislike kitsch. *It's all in the excution and context.

tugrul
April 4th, 2003, 05:14 PM
Quote: from dbhstockton on 3:56 pm on April 4, 2003
What's the address of that 1960's monstrosity on the southeast corner of Herald/Greely Square? *It ruins a lot of views of the ESB.

This horrible thing?

http://www.skyscrapers.com/files/transfer/5/2000/09/126130.jpg

1250 Broadway (http://www.skyscrapers.com/re/en/wm/bu/115343/)

NYatKNIGHT
April 4th, 2003, 05:23 PM
If I had to pick which one was worse, I'd go with the Home Insurance Building too - it's scary.


http://www.skyscrapers.com/files/transfer/6/2002/12/176973.jpg

dbhstockton
April 4th, 2003, 05:52 PM
re: 1250 Broadway

Hard to believe it's by the same architecture firm as the Empire State Building.

re: *33 Maiden Lane

I'm not familiar enough with the Home Insurance Building to make a call. *I guess that would make it the lesser of two evils for me, because I have spent some time staring in bewildered anguish at 33 Maiden Lane. *It just offends me in a visceral way. *Maybe I had a bad childhood experience at a crappy pink toy castle. *We're just going to have to notch this one up to differences in taste. *

TLOZ Link5
April 4th, 2003, 05:57 PM
Quote: from DominicanoNYC on 3:39 pm on April 4, 2003
Don't forget SOM's other bulking horror the Mount Siani building on 100th street. Ugly, just plain ugly.


Heh, you mean the one that looks like a smaller 1 Liberty Plaza?

Speaking of which, I pretty much agree with the top 5 of that list. *However, the Lipstick Building, Sony Tower, 60 Wall and WorldWide Plaza are all great. *I can tell you from experience that 1WWP is often misconstrued as a genuine, classic New York skycraper--especially at night with the floodlight arrangement.

(Edited by TLOZ Link5 at 5:07 pm on April 4, 2003)

Bennie B
April 5th, 2003, 12:00 AM
Quote: from tugrul on 11:36 am on April 4, 2003
3, 6 and 8 need to be dropped from that list.
Don't know about One Astor Place or 33 Maiden Lane (tho any building with a sense of humor can't be bad), but AT&T and WorldWide Plaza definitely don't belong. :)

Bennie B
April 5th, 2003, 09:36 AM
Okay they're a little outrageous, but apart from the colors, what's not to like?
AT&T / Sony Tower, 1984:
http://www.skyscrapers.com/files/transfer/5/2002/05/149655.jpg
Lipstick / 885 3rd Avenue, 1986:
http://www.skyscrapers.com/files/transfer/5/2003/01/179996.jpg
Both designed by Philip Johhson.

Evan
April 5th, 2003, 10:02 AM
What's so bad about 60 Wall Street? *I especially like the upper part of the builidng with the columns and the slanted roof. *I think its neat.

tugrul
April 5th, 2003, 11:31 AM
Quote: from Evan on 9:02 am on April 5, 2003
What's so bad about 60 Wall Street?
Its not so much design for me as it is position.

http://photos.galatali.com/skyscrapers/wirednewyork_forum_image_mirror/www.mcny.org/abbott/078.jpg;OP=IMAGE;ROTATE=0;WIDTH=-1

1CMP might have been the first blow to the beauty of this scene, but 60 Wall was the final nail in the coffin. Its flat top is in the same neighborhood of where the setbacks begin on 40 Wall and 70 Pine, and its mass contains just as much space as those two. And its *so* close to the two of them that its always partially or completely hiding one or the other.

http://www.skyscrapers.com/files/transfer/6/2001/12/134577.jpg
http://www.skyscrapers.com/re/en/im/df/134577/

As you can see, its the only substantial structure in the 1930s triangle. That horrible SOM box for the Stock Exchange would have been right in front of 40 Wall *shudder*

ZippyTheChimp
April 5th, 2003, 11:39 AM
This is what's wrong with 60 Wall. a sledgehammer on the skyline.
http://www.pbase.com/image/14343674.jpg

I like Sony/AT&T and Lipstick.
WWP looks ok from a Hudson ferry, but shows its flaws on 8th ave.
How did 55 Water miss the cut, given it's prominent location?

Fabb
April 5th, 2003, 12:29 PM
Why do you say it's a prominent location ?
In a postcard, maybe...

dbhstockton
April 5th, 2003, 12:41 PM
It's just a crude building, utterly tasteless, and the classy 1920's neighbors only accentuate that fact.

Fabb
April 5th, 2003, 12:59 PM
Yes.
If only it was reclad...

dbhstockton
April 5th, 2003, 01:04 PM
They could make it into a Buddhist pagoda.

ZippyTheChimp
April 5th, 2003, 01:50 PM
Quote: from Fabb on 11:29 am on April 5, 2003
Why do you say it's a prominent location ?
In a postcard, maybe...

Prominent as in...hard to avoid seeing it.
http://members.aol.com/smurphy110/down/55water.jpg

TLOZ Link5
April 5th, 2003, 02:01 PM
Prominent as in...painfully noticeable, hideous, and with a total lack of redeeming qualities.

Fabb
April 5th, 2003, 02:14 PM
Do you think it could withstand another 50 stories ?
That might be a solution.

Gulcrapek
April 5th, 2003, 02:29 PM
It was probably built as cheaply as possible, hence no extra support capabilities.

What would you suggest the reclad it with? With its shape it would be hard to make it look nice with any kind of facade. Maybe reflective glass?

dbhstockton
April 5th, 2003, 02:29 PM
Imagine the skyline without it.

http://www.skyscrapers.com/files/transfer/6/2001/12/134577.jpg

Ptarmigan
April 5th, 2003, 06:44 PM
None of those buildings are an eyesore to me. They are all cool buildings in their own right. One Astor Place and One Worldwide Plaza are cool buildings and stand out well. I know the World Trade Center was considered a blight at first, but everyone grew to love it, especially now.


(Edited by Ptarmigan at 9:53 pm on April 5, 2003)

NyC MaNiAc
April 5th, 2003, 09:25 PM
Beautiful Pic DBH. I like the building. Or, as the point it seems you want to prove, the skyline wouldn't look like it without it. It's already hurting with the lack of the WTC, which as Ptarmigan noted, was not really liked at the beggining.

markmartin6
April 5th, 2003, 10:17 PM
I agree with all of the buildings on that list except for one - 60 Wall Street. Maybe y'all think I'm crazy but I've always liked that one more than a lot of others. It's just so...different. There's just no other building in the world like it! Of course, many of you are thankful for that...

Fabb
April 6th, 2003, 04:24 AM
Well, it wouldn't bother me in Las Vegas.

TLOZ Link5
April 6th, 2003, 07:17 PM
Speaking of Vegas, I've heard that it was originally intended to be an American version of Monte Carlo.

So much for that brilliant vision. *I always laugh at the concept of Sean Connery wearing a tux at that casino in Diamonds are Forever.

Bob
October 23rd, 2004, 10:47 PM
60 Wall Street: AAAAACK! PHFFFFFFT!

Gulcrapek
October 23rd, 2004, 11:12 PM
I like it. It's just a natural part of the skyline to me.

JonY
October 24th, 2004, 12:57 AM
I'm truly surprised that some don't mind One Astor Plaza. It looked gronky in the art textbooks @ high school and even gronkier in real life. (it's fugly, fugly, fugly and IMHO does ruin an otherwise funky skyline in that part of town). A product of its time I guess.

I searched for the most unflattering pic I could find http://www.sayhey.co.uk/invboard/html/emoticons/laugh.gif

http://www.skyscraperphotos.com/cit/dny03/b/igny344.jpg

Even @ street level it's offensive :evil:

http://mywebpage.netscape.com/rotpics02/1astorbase.jpeg


**After having hammered the point home, I do hope that the crown is still floodlit @ night - it's only redeeming feature.

.....

BrooklynRider
October 24th, 2004, 02:17 AM
I can't recall if I responded previously, but for me, at the moment - Penn Plaza is just terrible.

kz1000ps
October 24th, 2004, 11:21 PM
How about One Liberty Plaza. If Darth Vader ever designed a skyscraper.......
And the 3 behemoths between 47th and 50th on Ave of the Americas deserve special praise for just how GOOD they are at showing everything that was wrong with architecture of that time. I feel so overwhelmed (not in the good way) dare I look up at that trio. And you gotta love those almost attractive plazas, especially considering what's right across the street.

Oh, and all the 40's/50's "wedding cake" style buildings that look surprisingly cheap and flimsy.

Gulcrapek
October 24th, 2004, 11:28 PM
Today I passed the Javits Building and thought aloud, "When will they demolish that?"

TLOZ Link5
October 25th, 2004, 12:14 AM
Today I passed the Javits Building and thought aloud, "When will they demolish that?"

The plaza out front is quite nice. Any demolition proposal should save the plaza.

BrooklynRider
October 25th, 2004, 10:51 AM
While I'm whining....

How about those telecom buildings? They should go under ground - not reside in windowless towers rising in neighborhoods like religious monoliths.

LeCom
August 11th, 2006, 03:34 PM
Totally agree with Penn Plaza and the base of One Astor. However, overall this guy just hates big boxes. Nothing unusual here.

BPC
August 12th, 2006, 09:18 PM
There's a huge orange building around Park and 34th which has to be the ugliest thing I have ever seen. Not sure what it is.

NewYorkYankee
August 12th, 2006, 09:27 PM
You guys probably disagree, but I hate the Conde Nast building.

ZippyTheChimp
August 12th, 2006, 09:42 PM
There's a huge orange building around Park and 34th which has to be the ugliest thing I have ever seen. Not sure what it is.

3 Park Ave
http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=115547

LeCom
August 12th, 2006, 11:44 PM
Prominent as in...hard to avoid seeing it.
http://members.aol.com/smurphy110/down/55water.jpg
Well, it might as well be prominent, as it's the largest highrise building anywhere east of Chicago (or west of it, for that matter).

americasroof
August 12th, 2006, 11:55 PM
http://www.emseal.com/Projects/COLORSEAL_PROJECTS/Westin%20103.jpg

And of course there's the Westin at 8th and 42nd which has always been a wired beloved favorite.
http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3433

sfenn1117
August 13th, 2006, 12:12 AM
Astor Plaza is my most hated skyscraper. I guess it's hideousness makes sense though, it was built at the absolute nadir of 20th century architecture, as well as when the city was at its lowest depths.

The Westin looks fine, it fits in with 42nd and I always see people impressed by it on the street. We're just harder critics than most people.

pianoman11686
August 13th, 2006, 12:39 AM
Are you talking about One Astor Place (by Gwathmey Siegel) or Astor Plaza?

sfenn1117
August 13th, 2006, 12:40 AM
Astor Plaza. Thank you for correcting me. I'm going to edit my post.

I like Astor Place.

LeCom
August 13th, 2006, 12:48 AM
JonY, awesome avatar.

BPC
August 13th, 2006, 01:56 PM
3 Park Ave
http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=115547

That's the one. If there is an uglier building in the CIty, I am unaware of it.

LeCom
August 13th, 2006, 02:44 PM
That's the one. If there is an uglier building in the CIty, I am unaware of it.
There is one.

https://extranet.emporis.com/files/transfer/6/2004/05/265720.jpg

NoyokA
August 13th, 2006, 02:52 PM
The ATT Long Lines Building and the Jacob K. Javits Federal Office Building top my list.


http://www.nyc-architecture.com/SOH/Pict0278.jpg

http://www.nyc-architecture.com/SCC/032A.jpg

ramvid01
August 13th, 2006, 08:22 PM
Wow Lecom, i was about to post a picture of that same building. I don't know what the building's name is (or the owner's, but im assuming its a at&t building) but i do know for sure that is just ugly.

NoyokA
October 4th, 2006, 10:58 PM
Here's some pictures of the Home Insurance Company:

http://members.aol.com/sunsenergy/building9.jpg

http://members.aol.com/sunsenergy/building10.jpg

I would have no pride working there.

lofter1
October 4th, 2006, 11:37 PM
Alfred Easton Poor, who designed that ^^^ , also designed THIS (http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/trr043.html) ...

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/images/vc006233.jpg

lofter1
October 4th, 2006, 11:46 PM
The ATT Long Lines Building ...

Speaking of which ^^^ I just came across this weblink to http://long-lines.net/index.html

There you'll find everything you could ever want to know about the Bell Long Lines Networks -- incuding (but not limited to) maps, photos, diagrams ...

Contents

Places and Routes (http://long-lines.net/places-routes/index.html)
Technology and Equipment (http://long-lines.net/tech-equip/index.html)
Operations (http://long-lines.net/operations/index.html)
Documents (http://long-lines.net/documents/index.html)
Sources of information (http://long-lines.net/sources/index.html)
Links (http://long-lines.net/links.html)
Organizations, Museums, and Archives (http://long-lines.net/organizations.html)This one caught my eye ...

"Incinolet" Electric Incinerating Toilet


This fixture was installed at many small Long Lines facilities in isolated locations,
since it required no water supply and wastewater disposal system.

http://long-lines.net/tech-equip/misc/toilet4f.jpg


Details about the toilet are available on the Incinolet web site (http://www.incinolet.com/).


WAY too much info there ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ :cool:

TimmyG
October 5th, 2006, 12:31 AM
Maybe New York can use those to provide public toilets.

stache
October 5th, 2006, 01:42 AM
Instant sex change? *cringe -*

LeCom
October 5th, 2006, 03:30 PM
"Incinolet" Electric Incinerating Toilet


This fixture was installed at many small Long Lines facilities in isolated locations,
since it required no water supply and wastewater disposal system.

http://long-lines.net/tech-equip/misc/toilet4f.jpg


Details about the toilet are available on the Incinolet web site (http://www.incinolet.com/).


WAY too much info there ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ :cool:

This rules!

The only thing is: how does it get rid of urine?

lofter1
October 5th, 2006, 03:33 PM
fries it ;)

Ninjahedge
October 5th, 2006, 03:55 PM
1. It does not have anythnig to rinse the stuff that hits the sides.
2. There is still ash
3. Have you ever smelled burning crap?

LeCom
October 5th, 2006, 04:05 PM
3. Have you ever smelled burning crap?
?!

...you have?..

Gotham
October 5th, 2006, 04:46 PM
Every Halloween when you're stamping on the brown bag.... what a mess too.:eek:

TimmyG
October 5th, 2006, 06:22 PM
1. It does not have anythnig to rinse the stuff that hits the sides.

Half the stuff in a public bathroom would probably end up on the seat, so the inability to rinse might not be too big of a problem.

TonyO
September 18th, 2007, 02:48 PM
WNYC and Christopher Gray of the New York Times are doing a photo project with listeners to see which are the "Worst Buildings of NYC". I know noone here will have any opinions, but, here's the information just in case.

Story:

http://www.wnyc.org/photos/lopate/worst_buildings.html

Flickr photo pool:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/worstbuildings/

Scraperfannyc
September 18th, 2007, 05:00 PM
Hmm,

I like most of these buildings here. It includes one of my favorites, and Forbes Favorite, that is, the Hearst Building.

Radiohead
September 18th, 2007, 11:36 PM
This is my take on the original "eight worst buildings" list.

1. PENN STATION PLAZA

This...........
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1387/1403983779_63e74e9aeb_m.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1387/1403983779_858957fc49_o.jpg

....was replaced by this. And that site is still crying.
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1367/1403961607_b6cdfeb44c_m.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1367/1403961607_a6adacc389_o.jpg

2. PARAMOUNT PLAZA

I've seen uglier big boxes. Mid century architecture was obsessed with them, though
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1402/1404844064_bc924ac824_m.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1402/1404844064_cc5ceada64_o.jpg

3. ONE ASTOR PLAZA

A big box with concrete wings. Architectural critics might use the term "banal"
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1348/1404844146_5d59333c7b_m.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1348/1404844146_6924f28509_o.jpg

4. 1185 SIXTH AVENUE

The vertical "stripes" enhance the sense of height. This wouldn't make my list.
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1022/1403961935_d82f5c3b29_m.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1022/1403961935_ca5089f58d_o.jpg

5. 1095 SIXTH AVENUE

Initially the boring New York Telephone Building. Imagine having to work in that claustrophobia trap. Boring...ZZZZZZZ !!!!
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1056/1404844410_727d9763ee_m.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1056/1404844410_5f437f4abc_o.jpg

Then Verizon did make improvements, if you want to call it that.
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1081/1404844522_ea7f7251fb_m.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1081/1404844522_8cf09285bd_o.jpg

The latest renovations are actually decent
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1263/1403962607_dea8fdaaee_m.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1263/1403962607_9888cbec76_o.jpg

The result of which is expected to look like this
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1090/1404845120_539ad9c78e_m.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1090/1404845120_5bf189dc28_o.jpg

It makes you wonder why they didn't just build a decent building back in 1974. Funny how building functionally and aesthetically appealing skyscrapers was rarely a problem in the pre WW II era.

Radiohead
September 18th, 2007, 11:40 PM
6. THE PHILIP JOHNSON TRIO

The AT&T Building always got a bad rap, IMO. I never had a problem with the chippendale thing at the top, unlike many others.
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1023/1403963149_484e3131be_m.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1023/1403963149_dba0978085_o.jpg

I always thought the circular design of the Lipstick Building(885 3rd Ave) would have been more suited for Chicago. It does bear a slight resemblance to the Flatiron, though.
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1385/1403962999_ce40ed53a0_m.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1385/1403962999_f7ecf1c22d_o.jpg

The fortress-like corners of 33 Maiden Lane seem a bit over the top. I'm surprised Johnson didn't surround the building with a moat
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1070/1403962865_88a802de7b_m.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1070/1403962865_32709fd57a_o.jpg

7. 60 WALL STREET
This isn't my favorite either, but then look at what it sits next to. That would be like the girl next door standing next to Halle Berry.
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1064/1403963315_7ec8cfc404_m.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1064/1403963315_caa6326849_o.jpg

8. ONE WORLDWIDE PLAZA
Certainly wouldn't be on my list, and I like the public square below. Right city, right century.
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1199/1404845762_3f190a63b7_m.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1199/1404845762_7b154db4f2_o.jpg

http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/thumb/d/dd/300px-Worldwide-plaza-fountain-small.jpg

Alonzo-ny
September 18th, 2007, 11:56 PM
The verizon reclad gets my award for least accurate representation of what a building will actually look like in real life.

scumonkey
September 19th, 2007, 01:09 AM
Anything from Sam Chang- we all know what they look like!!!;)

lofter1
September 19th, 2007, 01:10 AM
This isn't on Sixth Avenue --- it's downtown west of Broadway on Church at Thomas Street.

Zippy would know (I think he used to work there) ...

5. 1095 SIXTH AVENUE

Initially the boring New York Telephone Building. Imagine having to work in that claustrophobia trap. Boring...ZZZZZZZ !!!!

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1056/1404844410_727d9763ee_m.jpg

MikeW
September 19th, 2007, 02:44 PM
It's downright scintilating if your a computer (which is what it's primary tenants were meant to be). Human habitation was a secondary consideration.


This isn't on Sixth Avenue --- it's downtown west of Broadway on Church at Thomas Street.

Zippy would know (I think he used to work there) ...

5. 1095 SIXTH AVENUE

Initially the boring New York Telephone Building. Imagine having to work in that claustrophobia trap. Boring...ZZZZZZZ !!!!

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1056/1404844410_727d9763ee_m.jpg

Bob
September 19th, 2007, 08:16 PM
So happy to see hideous 60 Wall Street making the bottom of the barrel. I wish the thing -- yeah, that's an apt description -- would simply disappear! It's an unwanted guest at the party, with the most laughable lobby imaginable.

Radiohead
September 20th, 2007, 12:17 AM
So happy to see hideous 60 Wall Street making the bottom of the barrel. I wish the thing -- yeah, that's an apt description -- would simply disappear! It's an unwanted guest at the party, with the most laughable lobby imaginable.


I've never seen the inside of the lobby in person. Is this the lobby you're referring to?


http://www.nyfa.org/images_uploaded/gift-deutschelobby.jpg

kliq6
September 20th, 2007, 04:35 PM
40 Wall is a beatiful building, I cant imagine how anyone wouldnt like it!!

kz1000ps
September 20th, 2007, 05:56 PM
This is 60 Wall's lobby. It's quite the riot to behold:

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/4499/img5181ga4.jpg

http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/8771/img5180hr2.jpg

Bob
September 20th, 2007, 09:17 PM
Absolute dreck...

macreator
September 21st, 2007, 12:27 AM
That's just nasty.... :eek:

Renovation, ASAP!

ramvid01
September 21st, 2007, 01:32 AM
All I can say is plastic Palm Trees?!?!?!?! :eek:

kz1000ps
September 21st, 2007, 01:49 AM
It's weird, but I like it because it's a corporate space that makes no attempt to take itself seriously. I look at the design theme as that of a garden trellis on steroids (or is that coke?) that had just read a book on ancient Egyptian culture. Zany and totally '80s.

At the very least it's not some dark, moody space that makes you feel uncomfortable lounging there if you don't work in the building, regardless of what security oversight there is. (I was there on a Saturday and security was lax at best, so I felt quite comfortable taking the above pictures).

Fabrizio
September 21st, 2007, 04:17 AM
"....it's a corporate space that makes no attempt to take itself seriously."

That's always a bad excuse.

JMGarcia
September 21st, 2007, 10:57 AM
Actually, the trellised space is not 60 Wall's lobby. It is public space. There's direct access to the subway, public restrooms, retail and free wifi even. Think of it as a covered public park. Oh, and the plants are real at least, even if the do have to live in a mirrored nightmare.

60 Wall's lobby is completely seperate and much more staid.

The "public space" was "extracted" from JP Morgan as part of the approval process for the building.

lofter1
September 21st, 2007, 12:15 PM
So nice of them to make the "public space" so unattractive to the public that none of the public uses it

:cool:

BrooklynRider
September 23rd, 2007, 01:26 AM
Very "Orlando Days Inn"

Tectonic
September 23rd, 2007, 12:48 PM
60 Wall needs to be torn down, lol. Its terrible, followed by the 'Lipstick' Building and Viacom's headquarters. Oh and that AT&T thing, horrid! The rest I think I can live with.

Fabrizio
September 23rd, 2007, 03:32 PM
What is so terrible about the Lipstick Building? Just take a look at the buildings on either side of it. The Lipstick does no harm.

The pink granite is ultra 1980's but it's well made. I see a glitzy but attractive facade. It works.

---

Ugly is the Marriot Marquis. The building of it caused so much damage to a unique assemblage of theatres. It is anti-pedestrian. Cheap looking. The first 10 floorsare basically blank walls of horrid concrete panels. The street level on the side streets is a disaster. A suburban highway hotel plopped down on the theatre district.

THIS is ugly:

http://www.portmanusa.com/hotel/imgs/newyork_marquis01.jpg
http://excitingny.com/nyphotos/marriottmarquisview.jpg

---
http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/thumb/7/71/250px-LipstickBuilding.JPG

Tectonic
September 23rd, 2007, 03:50 PM
OK OK, I'll take the Lipstick over the Marriot Marquis any day. The Lipstick building does look better in that side view, good point.

lofter1
September 23rd, 2007, 09:23 PM
Since this survey is interested in the WORST buildings that have caused
a BLIGHT upon our skyline then -- IMHO -- there is but one winner, hands down ...

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p242/Lofter1/Financial%20District/12Barclay_09a4_800.jpg

This newly-constructed piece of stuff at 10 Barclay Street (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3461&highlight=barclay) has, from many viewpoints,
successfully wiped from our skyline one of the most majestic buildings that this or
any other city has had the pleasure to behold: the glorious Woolworth Building (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3434&highlight=woolworth).

From those vistas where the sight of the Woolworth has not been totally erased
this 3rd-rate pile of banality stands butting it's way into the picture, like a boorish
and unwanted party guest.

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p242/Lofter1/Financial%20District/12Barclay_09b2_800.jpg

Other buildings might be uglier or fatter or plainer than 10 Barclay, but few if any have
so altered what comes to mind when one thinks of the great skyline of New York.

Some buildings were meant to have air around them. The Woolworth was entitled to that space.

Edward got a terrific shot (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=9417&postcount=8) of her just a few years back ...

http://www.wirednewyork.com/skyscrapers/images/5c_warren_west_woolworth_2march03.jpg

Tectonic
September 24th, 2007, 02:34 PM
Don't beat up 10 Barclay :( I think its very nice.

BrooklynRider
September 24th, 2007, 03:31 PM
The Barclay building has had traumatic repercussions for Lofter.

Fabrizio
September 24th, 2007, 04:33 PM
In my book, the Marriot is the number one worst...

but 10 Barclay is, without a doubt, a big "number 2".

Jim856796
September 24th, 2007, 11:55 PM
http://www.nymetro.com/nymetro/news/anniversary/35th/n_8569/
New York Magazine's 35th Anniversary
Space Invaders
The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline.

By Joseph Giovannini

1. PENN STATION COMPLEX, Midtown, including Madison Square Garden and 2 Penn Plaza, by Charles Luckman Associates (1968): We tore down McKim, Mead and White’s Pennsylvania Station for this?

2. PARAMOUNT PLAZA, at 1633 Broadway, by Emery Roth & Sons (1968): A cheap black box with glitzy stainless-steel suspenders set behind a windswept plaza with two inexplicable holes in the ground.

3. ONE ASTOR PLAZA, at 1515 Broadway, by Kahn & Jacobs, with chief designer Der Scutt (1969): Infamous for its crown of rabbit ears, and just as clumsy on the ground, where the hulk dominates Broadway.

4. 1185 SIXTH AVENUE, by Emery Roth & Sons (1971): The most offensive of the long line of offenders along Sixth Avenue north of 42nd Street. Mean, ugly, and big.

5. NEW YORK TELEPHONE COMPANY BUILDING, 1095 Sixth Avenue, opposite Bryant Park, by Kahn & Jacobs (1974): This bland tower makes an unsuccessful try at collaging three architectural scales together—medium, tall, and Goliathan—to warm up the company’s image. Cold to the touch; needs a face-lift.

6. THE EX-AT&T BUILDING (1984), 33 MAIDEN LANE (1986), and 885 Third Avenue, a.k.a. the LIPSTICK BUILDING (1986): The worst of many by architecture’s Public Enemy No. 1, Philip Johnson, the cynic who believes in no style but practices them all.

7. 60 WALL STREET, by Kevin Roche (1989): A gargantua set within downtown’s fragile street network, its façade detailed whimsically to look like a column. Ha ha.

8. ONE WORLDWIDE PLAZA, at 935 Eighth Avenue, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (1989): Guilty of postmodernist me-tooism—a middlebrow attempt at ye olde Ralph Lauren. Complete with a failed English-style shopping gallery at its base. Wrong city, wrong century.

I don't agree with any of these. This thread is just another futile attempt to hurt the feelings of these skyscrapers.

TonyO
September 25th, 2007, 01:07 PM
WNYC and Christopher Gray of the New York Times are doing a photo project with listeners to see which are the "Worst Buildings of NYC". I know noone here will have any opinions, but, here's the information just in case.

Story:

http://www.wnyc.org/photos/lopate/worst_buildings.html

Flickr photo pool:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/worstbuildings/

The results are on the WNYC Leonard Lopate show right now.

http://www.wnyc.org/slideshows/worstbuildings

BPC
September 26th, 2007, 02:19 PM
The results are on the WNYC Leonard Lopate show right now.

http://www.wnyc.org/slideshows/worstbuildings

Interesting list. I agree with several of the items on his list, and am not familiar with others, but I take issue with his criticism of (a) the Whitney (I wouldn't want every building to look like the Whitney but one of them ain't bad); and (b) the World Trade Center, which, after Pelli framed it with the WFC in the 1980s, transformed into one of the most magnificent urban settings man has yet to create.

Fabrizio
September 26th, 2007, 02:23 PM
^ agreed.

Tectonic
September 27th, 2007, 09:34 PM
Boy is MSG BAD, ESPECIALLY given what it replaced. I would have taken the new West Side Stadium over it any day.

TonyO
September 27th, 2007, 10:55 PM
Interesting list. I agree with several of the items on his list, and am not familiar with others, but I take issue with his criticism of (a) the Whitney (I wouldn't want every building to look like the Whitney but one of them ain't bad); and (b) the World Trade Center, which, after Pelli framed it with the WFC in the 1980s, transformed into one of the most magnificent urban settings man has yet to create.

Regarding the Whitney, those are my sentiments also. If the city had swaths of Soviet-style brutalist cement boxes this choice would make sense. But it is somewhat unique. There is a church in the east village in a brutalist style on 2nd Avenue/2nd Street that makes the Whitney appear warm and home-like.

He also rips the Twin Towers being "built on the cheap". This is a somewhat overreaching statement. The engineering study of the collapse determined that the floor trusses did not collapse as originally thought. If he is referring to the gypsum core, then he has a point...but we're talking "blighted". His reference to cheapness would point to structural issues, not aesthetic ones.

Ninjahedge
September 28th, 2007, 10:04 AM
Trust me, they were VERY fiscally concious in the construction of the towers.

Joists, and lack of frame rigidity forced them to do later reinforcements to counteract building sway. That and the cheap core...


But that would not necessarily be a be-all end-all for the structure given its mode of demise. :(


For me the uglies have to be these cement boxes springing up all over. Especially on the West Side. Take a look around Port Authority at these limited book-end kind of constructions that look more like IKEA designed them than any architect.

I know cost is an issue, but when you are spending that much $$ to buy a parcel of land you might as well do it right.

You don't put a lump of coal on your platinum band.

lofter1
September 28th, 2007, 11:19 AM
Rearding cost of land / quality of architecture:

Clearly Mr. Sam Chang / McSam hotels and the Lam Group (developers of most of those hotels (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12154&highlight=chang) just south of Port Authority on W. 39th / W. 40th Street) are in a different category than most NYC developers -- as they seem to be in no hurry to complete their buildings. Most NYC developers want to get the hole dug and the building up ASAP so that the development begins to generate money and thereby pay off the big investment which has been made to purchase the development site.

But these other guys don't xseem to have that worry. Their construction goes up slow as molasses. Buildings take 3 - 4 x as long to complete as many other (& larger) developents. Granted they aren't using union labor which would give them some leeway in costs, but does that difference really cover the much longer constuction time-line?

How can Lam / Chang et al have such deep pockets that they can take forever to cover their monthly payments? And whose pockets are their funds really coming from?

This is a big unanswered mystery.

Alonzo-ny
September 29th, 2007, 02:26 AM
Joists, and lack of frame rigidity forced them to do later reinforcements to counteract building sway. That and the cheap core...

.


I never heard of reinforcements before, please elaborate.

lizbeth li
November 25th, 2007, 11:06 AM
The only building in this list and probably the only building in NY that I truly hate is 60 Wall Street. *The location, the bulk, the laughable design make for a disastrous effect on the skyline.

Everyone can agree on this one. It is so massively oversized and inappropriate for where it it, it's like some weird transformer thing that wandered into downtown but never left.

ablarc
November 26th, 2007, 05:43 PM
^ The ugly of uglies. Truly a stupid building.

lizbeth li
November 26th, 2007, 06:04 PM
Absolutely. When it started to go up, I would be walking by and it didn't seem so threatening, but then it grew and kept growing and didn't stop. The building next to the Woolworth has never been an architectual favorite (and people even lament the lost Vanderbilt mansion or hotel, I forget which), but I kind of liked its plainness, like it was the ugly sister of the Woolworth and would do the lousy chores; but this stupid thing that rose so close is disgusting and worse. It does utterly destroy all sorts of lines of sight to the Woolworth -- isn't there something like an air rights historical preservation law anywhere in effect that a great building has to have some room???

TREPYE
November 26th, 2007, 08:21 PM
The building itself is not terrible. It is just in the worst possible spot they could have put it in. :rolleyes:

lofter1
November 26th, 2007, 09:35 PM
Which ^ in itself makes the building terrible enough :mad: