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Thread: Proposed - The New South Street Seaport - by SHoP Architects

  1. #76
    The Dude Abides
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    It's almost too good to pass through unscathed.

    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby
    Instead, we get the same knee-jerk reactions against height.
    They're not knee-jerk, though. The height exceeds what's allowed under current zoning, thus the anti-height crowd instantly feels justified in calling for its reduction.

    That's the problem with zoning in general. It's inflexible, and it shows at precisely the most crucial times: when doing something that directly contradicts it is the most sensible option.

    Put another way: the person who, years ago, somewhat arbitrarily decided the height limit for the area couldn't possibly have known Pier 17 would be begging for redevelopment. And he couldn't possibly have known that ShOP architects would create an almost perfect addition to the area. He'd probably even agree with us, and want it to be approved.

    But rules are rules.
    Last edited by pianoman11686; June 23rd, 2008 at 12:57 AM.

  2. #77

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    Exactly AN. I dont get it. If NY was being born now it would be nothing.

  3. #78
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    The proposal as a whole is so-so, but the tower portion is indeed a great design. The detail that the facade has makes this a great waterfront building. It has a wondeful struturalism flair to it that I enjoy so much (ala NY Times tower), nice job ShOP. While they got the tower right the low rises suck. Especially that white little dinky box in front of it is the antithesis of it. Boring which in turn makes it obstrusive it anchors the plans appeal.

    I know its a pipedream now but I cannot help to imagine what 80 south st being built next to this beauty would have looked like, it could have been the best architectural one two punch since:

    ESB, Chrystler


    Metlife, New York Life buildings


    70 Pine st, 40 Wall street


    Two fabulous contextual towers next to each other.
    But like most things that are too good to be true, 80 ss with this sssp tower is one of those. In the mean time enjoy the ones we have.
    Last edited by TREPYE; June 23rd, 2008 at 01:11 AM.

  4. #79

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    But rules are rules.
    Hold your horses, aren't rules made to be broken? (two clichés no less ...)

    I have sat there and watched Vancouver and later Chicago break their zoning rules to enable one or several highrise structures to be built, despite protestations around them. That is not normal for Vancouver, and commonplace in Chicago, but it does happen.

    New York of late might be more procedure bound than in the past, but things can happen suddenly and surprisingly if properly pursued.

  5. #80

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    I like it a whole lot better than that eighties tourist blight
    that's there now.
    Reminds me of something you'd see in a Gerry Anderson
    Captain Scarlet episode!




    Unfortunately it's too nice for modern, short, fat, glass boxed NY, and is destined to get the

  6. #81
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    I would really like to see this built, but it does seem way to good to be true to get built. I hate that stupid mall. It's so out of place there. It needs to go, I just hope this project surivies the guantlet. The urban planner that worked with SHoP should be get a raise in pay.

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyr View Post
    Hold your horses, aren't rules made to be broken? (two clichés no less ...)

    I have sat there and watched Vancouver and later Chicago break their zoning rules to enable one or several highrise structures to be built, despite protestations around them. That is not normal for Vancouver, and commonplace in Chicago, but it does happen.

    New York of late might be more procedure bound than in the past, but things can happen suddenly and surprisingly if properly pursued.
    What's to suggest that anything will change in the near future? I can't think of one example in the past 5 years of heady construction in which a project was granted a height variance.

    Instead, Solow's had to repeatedly pare down his heights at the ConEd site. Foster's (somewhat modest, in my opinion) proposal for upper Madison Avenue got shot down in a heartbeat. Robert DeNiro might have to remove a penthouse from his very contextual new downtown hotel because it's an astounding 12 feet higher than allowed under code. The list goes on and on.

    The rules that were made to be broken are those that you can get away with if nobody sees your wrongdoing. You can't get away with putting up a building in New York that's "too tall."

  8. #83
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    DeNiro's problem is that his hotel was built in a way that did not comply with approved plans, and because of what is visible from the street below -- and NOT because of height.

  9. #84

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    Architecture should be invisible.

  10. #85

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    You guys need to bone up on your "fishnet" terminology.



    Not really Fulton Fish Market, more "Hey sailor..."

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    DeNiro's problem is that his hotel was built in a way that did not comply with approved plans, and because of what is visible from the street below -- and NOT because of height.
    I must have confused the exact details with another penthouse problem in Tribeca. Still, the point being, rules can't be broken, even if the violations are barely noticeable and consequential.

  12. #87
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Trying to Find the Right Balance for the Seaport


    Ruby Washington / The New York Times
    The South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan; many New Yorkers have never adopted
    the location as a destination of choice.

    NY TIMES
    By SUSAN DOMINUS
    June 27, 2008

    Big City

    For a relatively long moment in the late 1970s and early ’80s, Boston was pretty hot. Between the Preppy Handbook (which came out in 1980), the hit television series “Cheers “ (which premiered in 1982) and Steve’s Ice Cream (which originated in Boston and helped begin the national craze for fancy ice cream), all things Brahmin and baked-beany felt of-the-moment, if not exactly chic. Possibly the country was enjoying some kind of a post-bicentennial afterglow, leaving behind the messiness of the ’70s (and all that cinematic urban decay) for the kind of wholesome Americana vibe that Boston always captured so well.

    All of that might explain why the City of New York seemed to think that essentially trying to replicate a successful Boston market, the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, in Lower Manhattan would be a good idea. Faneuil Hall was, and is, what its developers, the Rouse Corporation, called a festival marketplace. Take some historical charm, some wide-ranging retail, add some beer-battered shrimp, a few jugglers and mimes, put it all by the water — that’s a festival marketplace. How could it go wrong?

    Indeed, the South Street Seaport, New York’s answer to Faneuil Hall, ranks as a big tourist attraction even now. But among actual New Yorkers thinking about fun things to do and where to do it, it ranks pretty close to zero. All of that tastefully enough refurbished architecture, that priceless waterfront property, has been put to the dubious service of retail chains like Express and Mrs. Fields. Exactly what sort of a festival is that?

    So it should have come as no great surprise — more like a great relief — when the Seaport area’s current developers, General Growth Properties, last week announced their plans to abandon the current development on Pier 17, which is at this point little more than a mall full of T-shirt shops and mediocre food.

    Some major logistical problems probably deterred New Yorkers from ever adopting the location as a destination of their own: no direct subway line, competition from the development of the World Trade Center area and the perfectly upscale shopping areas that New York already had (a challenge that Faneuil Hall and its counterpart in Baltimore, Harborplace, didn’t really face).

    The Seaport Museum, which might have anchored the area with some salty New York maritime history, never got the financing it was supposed to get in a complicated deal with the developers (and it’s unclear how much of a draw maritime history would ever be). The development’s identity crisis didn’t help: Even in the dark days of the city’s history, New Yorkers weren’t likely to embrace a district that looked and felt like a watered-down version of some other city’s success story.

    Finding the right, mysterious balance of grit and vitality, authenticity and innovation — that’s the elusive goal chased by all developers in New York, who’ve come close in, say, Red Hook, but are still struggling to hit it at 125th Street.

    Before the South Street Seaport was developed, the harbor area was one of those funny, forgotten corners most New Yorkers never visited. But those who did found urban treasure: It was a neighborhood that still reeked of New York’s maritime past, a place where you could imagine some old Tammany Hall boss out working the wards, a place where rope and tackle shops operated even as personal computers were being sold not too many blocks north.

    Until it moved to the Bronx a few years ago, the Fulton Fish Market might have been expected to provide a connection to some of the authenticity of that old historic neighborhood; instead, the market never felt connected to the new development, except in the smells, mostly unwelcome, that wafted through the air.

    What’s to come at the Seaport, according to Michael H. McNaughton, vice president of asset management at General Growth Properties, is a new retail area on the pier that better serves downtown residents, an open space the size of Bryant Park, and a new luxury high-rise hotel. Another gigantic luxury development shooting out of the ground — just when the country seems to be sobering up about real estate — seems like just the kind of maneuver that could feel dated within five minutes of its being built, just as the festival marketplace was by the late ’80s.

    But there are also promising signs that the neighborhood might be returning to its original roots as a great market, if not in old-timey look or feel, then in function. This Sunday, not one but two green markets will be competing for foodies’ attention at the South Street Seaport. The New Amsterdam Market, run by Robert LaValva, will be operating out of the parking lot of the New Market Building (expect a lot of local cheese and high-quality bread, among other delicacies) and in the now-vacant fish stalls of the Fulton Market, General Growth Properties will be offering locally grown produce and artisanal foods.

    Food markets seem like a good place to start for the Seaport — it makes sense for what’s new about the area (a lot of families who want and have the money to spend on artisanal sausage) and yet it ties the location to its past as a great nexus for food distribution. A thriving, high-quality food market there would feel, at this moment, in the old-fashioned sense of the word, organic.

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

  13. #88
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    Good article. Required reading for Gerson?

  14. #89
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Except the author seems to hate the tower -- and will be no help in getting it approved ...

    ... Another gigantic luxury development shooting out of the ground — just when the country seems to be sobering up about real estate — seems like just the kind of maneuver that could feel dated within five minutes of its being built, just as the festival marketplace was by the late ’80s.

  15. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    Indeed, the South Street Seaport, New York’s answer to Faneuil Hall, ranks as a big tourist attraction even now.
    It's packed most of the time.

    So it should have come as no great surprise — more like a great relief — when the Seaport area’s current developers, General Growth Properties, last week announced their plans to abandon the current development on Pier 17, which is at this point little more than a mall full of T-shirt shops and mediocre food.
    Must be the tourists don't spend enough money there.

    Some major logistical problems probably deterred New Yorkers from ever adopting the location as a destination of their own: no direct subway line
    Unless they re-route the Second Ave subway, this problem will persist. Isn't it time to re-align it eastward? (And while at it, run it under Tompkins Square further uptown, and put in a stop.)

    Until it moved to the Bronx a few years ago, the Fulton Fish Market might have been expected to provide a connection to some of the authenticity of that old historic neighborhood
    An unrealized opportunity now lost.

    Food markets seem like a good place to start for the Seaport — it makes sense for what’s new about the area (a lot of families who want and have the money to spend on artisanal sausage) and yet it ties the location to its past as a great nexus for food distribution. A thriving, high-quality food market there would feel, at this moment, in the old-fashioned sense of the word, organic.
    Exactly.

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