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Thread: McGraw-Hill, best of the X,Y,Z buildings?

  1. #1

    Default McGraw-Hill, best of the X,Y,Z buildings?

    Of the three later additions to Rockefeller Center on Sixth Ave (Celenese, McGraw-Hill, Exxon and Time and Life if you want to include that), many critics agree that McGraw Hill is the best. Granted, none of them are any match for the complex that they are unfortunately now considered a part of, but do you agree that this is the best of the bunch? They really have contributed to what has become a bland stretch of Sixth Ave, on the west side of that Avenue anyway.

    Also, why do you think that the plazas of these buildings don't work as well as the ones on Park Ave do? (Seagram and Lever House)?

  2. #2

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    Other than height I didn't know that there was a difference.

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    10 Barclay = Decepticon Optimus Prime's Avatar
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    On the plaza issue, I think the ones on Park are more successful because there are fewer of them. If you're going to have plaza space, it seems to work better when it is concentrated. Sixth is just a vast swamp of concrete because it is one plaza after another. I think Park is also helped because there is more mixing of uses over there. There are a few hotels, some residential, etc. Sixth in the 50s is almost all office except for that Hilton, which almost everyone seems to enter by cab underneath the giant awning.

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    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Plus Park is prettier to look at. I went to a plaza off 6th. Ave. with a friend once to kill a little time and it wasn't especially inviting.

  5. #5

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    In architecture circles it's really the Time Warner that is considered to be the best of the bunch.

    As far as foot traffic goes, that stretch of 6th is more lively than Park. I think the whole is much better now than it was years ago.

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    10 Barclay = Decepticon Optimus Prime's Avatar
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    6th is more lively, but if the purpose of a plaza is to get people to stop and mill about and stay awhile, the ones on 6th fail. I think because it there are so many plazas it just turns into an extended sidewalk during all hours except lunch, when some people from the business towers will eat out there.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus Prime View Post
    6th is more lively, but if the purpose of a plaza is to get people to stop and mill about and stay awhile, the ones on 6th fail.
    The plazas on both avenues are an outmoded 1960's concept... but the truth is those on 6th work better than those on Park. On 6th they attract more people, especially at lunch. And in the eve, the stroll on 6th is not quite the no-man's land that Park can be.

    Aesthetically speaking, my taste prefers the sterile plaza at the Seagrams... but it sure isn't user friendly.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio View Post
    . And in the eve, the stroll on 6th is not quite the no-man's land that Park can be. .
    I'm guessing this is because of the greater number of tourists that are still milling about on that stretch of Sixth whereas on Park the office workers have cleared out for the day.

    My favorite too, is the one at the Seagram Building that features the twin pools, although even it never really lived up to it's potential.
    Last edited by redhot00; March 18th, 2008 at 06:52 PM.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus Prime View Post
    6th is more lively, but if the purpose of a plaza is to get people to stop and mill about and stay awhile, the ones on 6th fail.
    Agreed, but of course this isn't the only purpose of these plazas. They were also built so that the buildings conform to zoning regulations, since these towers don't exactly feature a lot of setbacks.

  10. #10

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    Exactly. Most of these 1960's plazas around the city, were not designed with people in mind. Besides allowing for more floors under zoning laws, they were designed to be elegant, monumental, to set-off the buildings. It's only in the last 15 years that many of these plazas have been dressed up with greenery, benches and so forth (as they have on 6th).

    Fortunately the plaza in front of the Seagrams will remain as is.

    http://www.eikongraphia.com/wordpres...ing%201969.jpg

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    There are also the plazas above grad and below grade, which just make for a mess of pedestrian flow. I'll never understand below grade plazas. The never work. With Rock Center, the plazas just seem to get in the way of everything.

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    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    WB Brookie!

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The mid-block vest pocket park at 1221 Sixth has, for years, been a welcome respite when traveling about in midtown.

    The circular walk-through waterfall is just fantastic ...


    flickr: by newyork808

    I always liked the way the trees created a filagreed canopy overhead and how the trunks seemed to rise up haphazardly from the stone surface. The random placement of flowers throughout created a sense of woodland amid the skyscrapers ...


    flickr: by newyork808

    But now some design genius with a love for the linear has completely altered the space ...



    For now the waterfall is fenced off ...



    The gate was opened so I peeked inside ...



    The workman saw me and shut the gate

    They had better replace that circular glass enclosure

    So much empty space ...



    The trees have all been pushed to one side in a perfect row ...



    The wall has been rebuilt using the current vogue of horizontal planking ...



    The security guy said the protruding sections will be planted with hanging something or other

    What used to be a lively and unexpected space is now regimented and already dated ...



    *

  14. #14

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    Ugh.

    Reminds me of what I saw tonight on the west side of the street at Madison and 45th -- a beautiful old brick stalwart, getting the "3 Columbus Circle" treatment of pointless, cheap glass panels placed over its irreplaceable old brick.

    Hasn't New York ever heard the old saw about what ain't broken?

  15. #15

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    A tragic waste of money that leaves the world a lesser place. You could probably say the same of the Vivian Beaumont space at Lincoln Center.

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