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Thread: Silver Towers - by I.M. Pei

  1. #61
    The Dude Abides
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasonik View Post
    In the plan view the new building should move to the right and straddle the street in a continuation of the pinwheel plan allowing each building clear sightlines from all four faces, or a 7 or 8 story ell at the corner pushed out to the sidewalk containing the greenspace, or leave it green, or do what ever they want.
    Yes, this seems like the most prudent thing to do. Unfortunately, even such a logical solution will be illegal if GVSHP's landmarking proposal goes through, which covers the entire superblock.

    I mean NYU owns the property, shouldn't they be allowed to do with it what they wish, even ruin it?
    Are you being sardonic or just sarcastic?

    The pure expression of an ideal executed with elegance and clarity. A rare uncompromised artifact from a period that earnestly believed architecture was able to change society. A period when practitioners felt they had discovered some archetypal axioms about the built environment and confidently set out to manifest these essential and timeless truths.
    Pretty wording, but I think it's mainly just that: wording. The design is pure, no question about it. But this complex is non-unique. It was (is) a manifestation of a style that had become dominant many years before its construction. It was neither groundbreaking, nor monumental. It was "slum-clearance" by decree; in my book, it represented the worst side of planning. Perhaps not the worst side of architecture, but certainly unbecoming of landmarking.

    To anyone who has closely followed Berman and his society over the years, as I have, I think it's fairly plain to see that his raison d'etre is neither preservation, as his society leads us to believe, nor encouraging beneficent development. He is much more a public advocate for the anti-development crowd than a preservationist. NYU has been, and is, one of his main targets - which is why I'm not the least bit surprised that he has been leading the fight to landmark both this superblock, and a wide swath of the South Village, for years now.

    Consider this: if preserving, or improving the site was his goal, then what possible justification would exist for preserving the entire block in amber, when it is obvious that the one-story supermarket mars what is otherwise a balanced layout? I agree with some of the other opinions here, on how a new structure could be positioned to blend with the other buildings. Unfortunately, this will not even be taken into consideration.

    Attached is a recent photo of the site. Tell me: is this worthy of being landmarked?
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  2. #62

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    Two words...

    Commie block.

  3. #63

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    LOL. I love that "recent photo" of the site. Was that done with a pin-hole camera?

    Guys, really, if you can not at a glance see how spectacular this is...

    Will someone please show us some modern facade/window treatments that are better than this. Thank you:

    http://joelraskin.smugmug.com/photos/187895107-L.jpg

    (Now that is how to set in a window. I guess it could be compared to 28 BondStreet... except in some ways, it's even better)

    If you all can not see the brilliance in that facade, then sorry... I can only question your ability to understand architecture.

    ---

    http://joelraskin.smugmug.com/photos/187895094-L.jpg

  4. #64

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    Pin-hole camera. HAHA.

    Pianoman: The idea is to use an unflattering photo, not a godawful one.

  5. #65
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    Um, it's not my photo. Taken from Google Street View (hence the copyright in the bottom right-hand corner).

  6. #66
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    btw: That lousy street-view photo isn't even all that "recent". Note that the blurry lettering on the supermarket storefront should spell "Morton Williams" which has been the name of the store for 4+ years, but it's still showing the previous name -- "Amalgamated Supermarkets" -- from years ago.

  7. #67
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    Interesting that google is using old photos for street view. Are they all old and, if so, where are they getting them from?

  8. #68
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    How does that google street view thing work to begin with?

    Dos google have college kids driving up and down the streets of every city & town, snapping away? Or making a vid?

  9. #69
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    Not sure. Right now they are doing places like Manhattan. Some of the main streets outside of Manhattan are done but the rest are not. Good question.

  10. #70
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio View Post
    If you all can not see the brilliance in that facade, then sorry... I can only question your ability to understand architecture.
    What an dismissive, self righteous comment. Gee, sorry Fabrizio we dont all sare your exquisite and sophisticated taste. LOL...please dude get a grip .

    Oh, and BTW IMO the facade is not that "brilliant" but if you think so it is very nice, good for you.

  11. #71

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    Seriously. I never understand comments like that. If he thinks his opinion is the only one that matters why even post on a forum?

  12. #72
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    I've tried banning him for a week to see if that would improve his behavior but I see that's not working. He's just not very socially integrated.

  13. #73

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    Fabrizio is the be all and end all of the forum, didnt you know?

  14. #74

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    The whole area around these buildings is dead. I have walked past them maybe a hundred times in my life and I remember cutting through only once, like they are two dimensional and the land around them is computer generated and hardly an open park. The buildings themselves are ugly and the only thought I've ever had about them is that some NYU faculty probably have some great rental deal -- meaning the rest of the world didn't count.

  15. #75

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    Oh come on guys... shall I pull out a rash of similair quotes by others that are thrown around here all the time?

    In fact, I will say it again and mean it in all sincerity: If you all can not see the brilliance in that facade, then sorry... I can only question your ability to understand architecture.

    Look at it this way: I would also question someone's ability to understand architecture if they could not see the brilliance in the Seagrams building, the Lever House... in a whole group of other buildings too.

    Wouldn't you?

    Oh c'mon Stache. I mean, really, if that quote deserves a ban then go ahead and ban me.

    So here I am, dumbfounded. Educate me, show me, explain to me how that facade is below-par.

    ( And I am not talking about personal taste. This building has nothing to do with my personal taste.)

    I'm looking for help here: let's see some modern apartment building facades that can top that as far as design and construction.

    If this is "commie block" public housing etc...if it is so poor... well there must be plenty better. Let's see it. I'm waiting.

    Also: remember all the contraversy about 2ColumbusCircle? As far as I was concerned the thing could be torn down... good riddence... I always found it ugly and a poor use for that plot.

    BUT I could completely understand the arguments by those who were in favour of saving it. I could understand the buildings importance in the history and culture of the city.
    I could see that and understand it. It could not be dismissed. And I could not dimiss the illustrious group of scholarly people that praised the building by saying that "they're playing the architect name-game" etc. That to me is intellectual poverty. I barely finished high school and so I do have respect for those who might know more than me. I did not like the building but I welcomed the oppurtunity to have my eyes opened by hearing their reasoning rather than just waving them away. I have no fear of learning. End result: better educated about the building's importance, still did not like the building (personal taste), still happy to see it go.

    ----

    Worth reading:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/14/bo...ks&oref=slogin


    ---

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