View Poll Results: Do you support the development 53 West 53rd Street?

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  • Yes. This future New York landmark should be fast tracked through the approval process.

    101 98.06%
  • No.

    2 1.94%
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Thread: 53 West 53rd Street Petition (Build the MOMA Spire)

  1. #196
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    But now it seems he's beholden to some deep-pocketed folks who just might reside on West 54th Street ...

  2. #197

    Thumbs up

    Lofter, maybe you could email that post on over to him?

  3. #198

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    Well, 2 of those houses on W54th are owned by the Rockefeller family and there are gardens behind them. Makes you wonder...

  4. #199

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio View Post
    What is the building next to St. Thomas?
    St Thomas is one of my favorite interiors in Manhattan.

  5. #200
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alonzo-ny View Post
    Lofter, maybe you could email that post on over to him?
    What? Gottfried doesn't read WNY

  6. #201
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio View Post
    Well, 2 of those houses on W54th are owned by the Rockefeller family and there are gardens behind them. Makes you wonder...
    And I'd be willing to bet that a shadow study would show that any shadows cast by the Tower Verre would have a di minimis effect upon those gardens (which would be on the north side of said townhouses and towards the east end of the block, yes?)

    Same would be true for any shadows cast upon the MoMA Sculpture Garden -- despite woeful cries from the CB gang.

    chicken little stuff.

  7. #202

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    Yeah, right.... try explaining that to the Rockefellers.

  8. #203
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    It would be interesting (for me, anyway) to see drawings showing the impact of the Tower from those gardens -- both to see the effect of shadows and how the rising Tower would look when lounging about on the chaise, gin & tonic in hand.

  9. #204
    10 Barclay = Decepticon Optimus Prime's Avatar
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    Okay, so I looked at the zoning map, and one half of this lot appears to be in C5-P, the other half in C5-2.5, though as Nouvel said I think there are two other zoning districts in play as well, for a total of four. I'm not really sure what either means, but using that info and the fact that the base of the tower is 40,000 square feet, can someone figure out what the allowable as of right zoning envelope is?

    My guess is it has to be at least 25 stories, but if someone can figure out for sure, that might help.

  10. #205
    Senior Swanky Peteynyc1's Avatar
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    Being down there and looking up first hand probably gives you the best perspective as to what the impact will be on the precious sunshine. The footprint of this building looks so small, and with the nature of the building growing thinner and pointier as it goes up (heart spearing lol), I think think the shadow impact wouldn't even be that much. There are plenty of other buildings already existing that have far greater impact, such as that monster directly to its West. The a**plugs against this project are a miserable bunch who just want to make everyone else miserable as well.

  11. #206
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Not sure how to calculate the allowable zoning envelope for the Nouvel site ...

    But for neighboring properties built in the past ~ 40 years on any sizeable lot it seems that a bulky 30 - 40 stories is the norm.

    Per Certificate of Occupancy records at DOB:

    40 W 53 (the Roche / Deutsche Bank building across W 53) is 27 stories; Lot Size: ~ 45,800 sf. Zoning: C5-2.5

    45 W. 53 (Folk Art Museum at south east border of Nouvel site; the original lot here measured 127' wide x 100' deep and reached as far west as the 1330 lot) Zoning: C5-2.5 / C6-2A

    1330 Sixth (Financial Times at the west border of Nouvel site) is 40 stories; Lot Size = ~21,550 sf. Zoning: C6-6

    1300 Sixth (CBS / Black Rock) is 37 stories; Lot Size = ~ 47,500 sf. Zoning: C5-2 / C5-3

    666 Fifth Avenue (eas end of 52nd / 53rd block) is 40 stories + PH; Lot size = ~ 61,500 sf. Zoning: C5-3F

  12. #207
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    The Rockefellers didn't show up at that LPC meeting last week heckling the speakers.

    How many want to bet a good number of the objectors to this project comes from the folks living in the Museum Tower itself? There are 248 units in that tower.

    Yes, they live in a tower that contributes most of the so called "burden" to that block than anyone else but now that they are "in", their mindframe now turns to closing the door and keeping others out.

  13. #208

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    It would be great if their home addresses could be traced. You are probably right that most live in the Museum Tower. It would make a very nice journalistic scoop.

    I bet the Museum Tower has gotten it's self very organized.... pot luck dinners among the tenants... messages thumb-tacked to a cork board down in the laundry room... mimeographed flyers.

  14. #209
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Where a 75-Story Tower Blends Right In

    The “contextualists” have it all wrong: Jean Nouvel’s beast is exactly what 53rd Street needs.





    By Justin Davidson
    Published Apr 17, 2008

    Why is it so much easier in New York to erect a dreary tower than a marvelous one? Hundreds of great gray glass blobs and mouse-colored moneymakers have gone up all over Manhattan in recent years with barely a shrug of protest. The conspiracy of ugliness has no opposition. Yet Jean Nouvel’s spectacular, soul-strengthening design for a 75-story tower on West 53rd Street has gotten some neighbors high on parochial outrage.

    The community board urged that the proposal be rejected, and the crowd at a recent Landmarks Preservation Committee meeting reacted as if the architect had floated a plan to dump nuclear waste in Central Park. Such attacks may represent the opinions of a few malcontents with afternoon sunlight to protect, but the shrillest voices can have a disproportionate effect on a proposal, and this project’s specialness makes it vulnerable.

    Nouvel’s design for a condo and hotel resting on three floors of new galleries for the Museum of Modern Art is an ecstatic reproach to Manhattan’s regularity. It would be to the skyline what Broadway is to the street grid: an indispensable violation and a zagging flourish. This is no prim modernist shaft; as with Norman Foster’s Hearst Tower, the structural supports push to the exterior, forming an eccentric exoskeleton. The Hearst building revels in rigor, wrapping itself in diamond shapes that could extend another eight floors without loosening its logic.

    Nouvel’s tower, by contrast, narrows, slopes, and twists, reaching for one particular point in the sky. Its athletic, muscular contortions recall Daniel Libeskind’s original concept for a 1,776-foot skyscraper at ground zero that would echo the Statue of Liberty’s raised arm. No other high-rise in New York reaches its pinnacle with such kinetic precision.

    Opponents complain that a 75-story building next door to the Museum of Modern Art would violate the area’s integrity, which is not only a preposterous objection in midtown but also a constipated sense of context. Yes, 53 West 53rd will needle up from a side street, where very tall buildings are usually unwelcome. Yes, it will obscure views, cut light, strain sewers, and crowd subway lines and sidewalks. So have a zillion other new structures that aspire to nothing. Let’s be honest: What would fit uncontroversially into the gap on West 53rd Street is something stubbier, squarer, and blander.

    The phrase “out of scale,” which is invoked to block tall buildings in low-rise areas, means one thing in the West Village and quite another here. To walk through midtown is to dwell at a subaqueous level, at the base of glass-and-steel reeds rising toward the sun. The tallest-seeming tower is usually the closest, dwarfing loftier ones farther away. An accurate sense of scale in midtown depends on not actually being in midtown. The magic of the Empire State Building is best appreciated from miles away, where the eye can savor how proudly out of scale it is.

    This is an argument not for green-lighting every megatower but for acknowledging that the city has yet to reach its full height, and that to try to stop its growth spurts would be as hobbling as binding a child’s feet. Nouvel’s future landmark gets its height via air rights from two extant ones, St. Thomas Episcopal Church and the University Club, which is why Landmarks has a say. Yet preservation is about guiding the future more than it is about gripping the past, and it makes no sense to quash this plan in the expectation of a duller, more modest alternative.

    In many ways, Nouvel’s design is in fact craftily contextual. Wrapping around the American Folk Art Museum by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien to join Yoshio Taniguchi’s expanded MoMA, the tower would complete a suite of early-21st-century designs, giving the block a period integrity that the future will want to protect. MoMA itself has gradually evolved on its way down 53rd Street, from the pearly 1939 building by Goodwin and Stone to Philip Johnson’s small black wing, César Pelli’s Museum Tower, and now Taniguchi’s connective tissue.

    Believe it or not, the museum wants to expand again, and the new building would enclose its galleries in a rattan of huge tilting columns and skewed beams. The structure becomes a street-level conversation with the museum’s previous incarnations. The sense of being at once enclosed and exposed intensifies on upper floors, with great glass walls slashed by startling trusses.

    This is not MoMA’s project: The museum has sold the lot to the developer, Hines. But its 2004 exhibit “Tall Buildings” did implicitly argue for Nouvel’s brand of provocation. In that global anthology of radical height, the skyscraper took the form of a corkscrew, a pagoda, and a giant pretzel, leaving New Yorkers wondering why their city had surrendered its claim to galloping architectural fantasy. With this plan, Nouvel brings it back. Please, let it be built.

    Copyright © 2008, New York Media Holdings LLC

  15. #210
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    I don't think anyone have said it or summed it up any better than that right there ^.

    Gonna buy me a copy of NY Magazine, tear out the page with this article on it and send it to Tierney myself. I suggest some of you should also do the same to show them there are a lot of supporters out there.

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