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Thread: 33 Beekman Street - Pace University Dorm - Gene Kaufman

  1. #31

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    That means nothing to Chang. It's not his language. It's like telling a dog not to pee in Central Park because the park deserves better.

    The only hope is that this plot somehow becomes economically unviable to Chang (near-impossible), Chang retires (unlikely), Chang is forced to sell assets to stave off bankruptcy (more likely, but still not probable), Chang has to delay construction while waiting for financing and in the meantime someone offers him a good return by taking this place off his hands (possible), the City denies him a building permit because it decides in favor of having some building standards for people other than Jean Nouveau (hopeful), or a meteor crashes into Chang's home, flattening him (ideal).

  2. #32
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    I think you guys need to be more positive. Whatever Chang builds here will be worlds ahead of the hospital, soviet block low income housing, and parking garages already on this street. The fact that Gehry put up shop on this block is more a miracle than some sort of manifest destiny.

  3. #33
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    At least the hospital and garages are low rise and fairly non-descipt.

    Hard to say that about 33 floors (or maybe 42) covered in red and yellow aluminum panels.

    And if he can find something cheaper to build with he'll do it.

    Show me one Chang project that has added anything but small transient rooms and some bucks to the tax base.

  4. #34
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    At least the hospital and garages are low rise and fairly non-descipt.

    Hard to say that about 33 floors (or maybe 42) covered in red and yellow aluminum panels.

    And if he can find something cheaper to build with he'll do it.

    Show me one Chang project that has added anything but small transient rooms and some bucks to the tax base.
    Ok, a couple things, I guess:

    1.) His stuff is generally just pretty boring. Sure the 6 pack of hotels in Times Square is crappy, but it's not really any better or worse than the other junk over there.

    2.) Even at 42 floors, it's not going to be a very large building. These aren't 12 ft ceilings here. The building filed at 33 floors had a height of 385 ft. That's not terribly tall, even in this area. Take a building like 40 Gold. It's 14 floors and it's barely taller than the 8 story stuff next to it.

    3.) The decrepit parking lot in the same spot isn't better.

    4.) It's only matter of time before the Parking garage is redeveloped and blocks this anyway.

    5.) Just based on the rendering, there's no way the building could actually come out looking like that.

    In any event, I'm not taken by the guy, but he's no worse than anything else, and his stuff still looks great compared to buildings built for urban renewal in the 60s.

  5. #35

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    Your justification is a akin to Roman Polansky only raping a 13 year old instead of raping a 5 year old. Bad is bad. We shouldn't strive for less bad, we need to strive for good!

  6. #36
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoldanTTLB View Post

    5.) Just based on the rendering, there's no way the building could actually come out looking like that.
    We can only wish.

    One would think, looking at the cartoonish renders that Kaufman cranks out (and which his website is full of) that there is no way on earth that an actual building could turn out to look so flat, flimsy, insubstantial, taste-free, disproportionate, and just down right wrong. Or that anyone else would even consider using such designs as the model for what others might build. But take a walk down West 40th, West 39th, West 28th or any number of other streets and you'll see that the buildings that Kaufman, Chang et al have put up are indeed as two-dimensional, banal and cheap-looking as the 8th-rate renders that preceded them. The buildings look almost exactly like the drawings.

    The worst thing about them is that they will be a part of the NYC landscape for the next 30 - 50 years.

  7. #37

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    Sure the 6 pack of hotels in Times Square is crappy, but it's not really any better or worse than the other junk over there.
    you must not have ever been "over there"
    They are in Hells kitchen-not Times Square,
    and if you think that they are on the same level as the
    Beautiful (albeit dirty and in dire need of cleaning)
    wedding cake loft buildings that make up the base of the area,
    you must have no eye for quality of design.
    What a ridiculous statement.
    That 6 pack even make the bus station look good in comparison.

  8. #38
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    There is no defending the greedy slimeball Sam Chang or Gene "his mother should have aborted him when he was a fetus" Kaufman.

  9. #39
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scumonkey View Post
    you must not have ever been "over there"
    They are in Hells kitchen-not Times Square,
    and if you think that they are on the same level as the
    Beautiful (albeit dirty and in dire need of cleaning)
    wedding cake loft buildings that make up the base of the area,
    you must have no eye for quality of design.
    What a ridiculous statement.
    That 6 pack even make the bus station look good in comparison.
    A well designed building that is decrepit is not better than an aesthetically displeasing, but functional one. It is important to note that the purpose of buildings is varied, but that ultimately, they are intended to in some way, shape, or form house people. In the case of these cheap hotels, the idea is to house as many people in as small of a space as possible. I wouldn't rent a place there, but it seems incredibly effective for hitting the right price point to bring in the tourist dollars that I \appreciate having here in NYC. In other cases, such as Frank Gehry's MIT building, the lack of shelter provided the users of the building renders an interesting form rather useless (http://www.boston.com/news/local/art..._300m_complex/).

    Before we go off on whether I've been to Hell's Kitchen before or not (and I have), let me say this: There are many neighborhoods in NYC, and many of them have some number of buildings that we deem "beautiful" for whatever reason. Some of these were just buildings many years ago, and are now held in much higher regard as we have soured on the modern aesthetic. That's fine. These things come and go. The original WTC was not universally loved when it was built, but the incredible support it garners now that it is gone is rather overwhelming. Similarly, but in the opposite direction, many of the creations by architects such as Pei, Harrison, and Niemeyer are not so highly regarded now, despite pure reverence for their creations in the '60s.

    Please don't take this as an endorsement of Chang or Kaufman. Rather, that which is aesthetically pleasing comes and goes. We find these buildings to be ugly right now. They may always be ugly too, but they are perfectly functional for what they are, and in that, they are a success.

    Let us move along to the more defensive portion of this post...

    Here, for everyone's enjoyment, is a selection of some of the fine architectural heritage that is currently occupying the few blocks near the offending hotels (starting with the north and south faces of the hotels themselves). All of these are from Google Streetview so that I don't appear partial in the photographic treatments of the buildings. While I am going out of town for the next 6 months starting this weekend, I will try to spend a few minutes Saturday taking higher resolution pictures of the area. The weather today is awful, and I'm at work.









    http://lh3.ggpht.com/_3T08TVQ0h2g/SvxnT7-n08I/AAAAAAAADsk/El4S6RiZvZ8/s800/comp3.PNG[/img]



    http://lh4.ggpht.com/_3T08TVQ0h2g/Svxno1z0JgI/AAAAAAAADsw/ZTr8mhQtqPU/s800/comp5.PNG[/img]





    In closing, I am also uncomfortable with the personal attacks on a group of people who are just trying to make a living. They haven't killed our mothers here or anything. If their biggest offense is tearing down some buildings we liked and building some others we don't, I think there are far milder questions of competency that could be raised, and even then these would be somewhat subjective. None of these gentlemen are even near the sweeping influence of someone like Robert Moses either. It's just difficult for me to swallow the vitriol.

  10. #40
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    I see that you've included the landmarked McGraw Hill Building at 350 West 42nd among those shown (#6).

    Is that to claim it's just another pile of junk unworthy of notice or protection and in need of being replaced?

    Sorry, but showing a bunch of nearby crud doesn't make the new Kaufman / Poon batch in that area any better. Size alone makes them more prominent; their "newness" makes it more likely that they'll be around for far longer than others that are shown.

    And if mere function is all that's required then we'd not have moved far from where our more humble forebears work, ate and slept. Aesthetics do matter.

  11. #41

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    A well designed building that is decrepit is not better than an aesthetically displeasing, but functional one.
    It's funny how the pictures you choose exclude the not decrepit "wedding cake" loft buildings i mentioned, that surround this
    6 pack o crap, (the only hint of them on either side of it)!
    Rather, to represent the area, you choose another POS building fairly recently built that is just as bad as the 6 pack (the zebra building),
    A small group of ancient brownstones (way better than the pack 'o crap), and easily removed if desired (unlike the massive pack 'o crap),
    The 38th st side of of R. Greenburg's (my upstairs neighbor) firm, which is of the back loading docks of a remodeled bus station-
    have you see what the actual front with garden looks like- also easily removed if wanted, and of all things- the Mc Graw Hill Building(are you kidding me) - a deco gem?!
    Now for some photos ( a real representation of whats actually there (and I live across the street so I should know)!
    And by the way- the buildings you refer to as "well designed that is decrepit" is anything but- all filled with what is left of the garment industry,
    and new offices for small architectural firms (what the area is actually zoned for),
    or living lofts (such as the one I live in).
    Here is the front of your pic #5


    Here is what is actually next door to the 6 pack 'o crap


    And another pic of more representational buildings from the area


    I'd say anything BUT decrepit!

  12. #42
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scumonkey View Post
    It's funny how the pictures you choose exclude the not decrepit "wedding cake" loft buildings i mentioned, that surround this
    6 pack o crap, (the only hint of them on either side of it)!
    Rather, to represent the area, you choose another POS building fairly recently built that is just as bad as the 6 pack (the zebra building),
    A small group of ancient brownstones (way better than the pack 'o crap), and easily removed if desired (unlike the massive pack 'o crap),
    The 38th st side of of R. Greenburg's (my upstairs neighbor) firm, which is of the back loading docks of a remodeled bus station-
    have you see what the actual front with garden looks like- also easily removed if wanted, and of all things- the Mc Graw Hill Building(are you kidding me) - a deco gem?!
    Now for some photos ( a real representation of whats actually there (and I live across the street so I should know)!
    And by the way- the buildings you refer to as "well designed that is decrepit" is anything but- all filled with what is left of the garment industry,
    and new offices for small architectural firms (what the area is actually zoned for),
    or living lofts (such as the one I live in).
    Here is the front of your pic #5
    Here is what is actually next door to the 6 pack 'o crap
    I'd say anything BUT decrepit!
    My original comment was that many of the buildings in this area are no better or worse than the 6 pack. In as much as I was trying to prove my point, I posted a number of photos showing that there's quite a bit of junk in the area. The 6 pack is not unique. There are certainly some great buildings in the area as well, a fact I readily acknowledge. Additionally, these streetview photos are not exactly the premier venue for showcasing how decrepit something is. Short of the most run-down, ruined factory, buildings tend to just look like buildings. I'm sure with a little digging, you could score photos of a number of word class pieces of architecture in Hell's Kitchen as well. Certainly across the street from the Port Authority is the Times Building, and it's fantastic. There are, surely, a number of historic and beautiful homes too. I find the block that buses pass through from the tunnel to the PA (I believe it's 39, but don't quote me) is just fantastic every time. It's tree lined and the buildings are very well maintained. The thing I was getting at is that there are a mix of buildings. These aren't the worst, and they are far from the best. That's all.

  13. #43

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    My original comment was that many of the buildings in this area are no better or worse than the 6 pack.
    I'm sorry but MOST of the buildings in the area ARE better than that 6 pack! They are also filled with tenants and were built much better.
    It was recently discovered that Changs builders even broke code when installing the wiring.
    (They used cheap scrap wood& aluminum painted black behind the wall, to look like the required rubber spacers)
    The 6 pack is not unique.
    It is in so much as it is the only group of buildings built to such a height that they can not be easily removed!
    So not only are they ugly but Ugly with shoddy construction.

    The thing I was getting at is that there are a mix of buildings. These aren't the worst, and they are far from the best. That's all.
    There is a mix of buildings all across the city- no excuses for something like this 6 pack to be built-ANYWHERE in Manhattan

  14. #44

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    When a building such as 8 Spruce Street - Beekman Tower - by Frank Gehry
    is built, to put a Chang/Kaufman travesty this close to it, can do nothing but underscore what a lowdown selfish scoundrel Chang is, and only amplify the hideousness
    of Kaufman's designs...
    It's akin to going to the Louvre and hanging a talentless child's
    finger painting next to the Mona Lisa!
    NO EXCUSE!

  15. #45

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    I agree with you, Scumonkey. Chang must be stopped.

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