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Thread: One Chase Manhattan Plaza - by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

  1. #31

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    "Before the conversion..."
    Did they tear out the lobby for the conversion?

  2. #32

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    I have not actually been in the building, but based on the fact that it is advertised as newly designed, I am assuming they did.

  3. #33
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Secret Waterproofing Plan For Chase Manhattan Plaza Goes To Court

    By Nick Pinto


    The latest version of the fencing surrounding Chase Manhattan Plaza.

    Open space advocates fighting against the fencing off of Chase Manhattan Plaza in Lower Manhattan will have their day in court next month. The open space advocates, led by Richard Nagan, an expediter licensed by the Department of Buildings, first raised alarms when JP Morgan Chase erected barriers completely surrounding the historic landmarked plaza the day before Occupy Wall Street began.

    But the court won't actually be hearing the question of whether Chase went through the proper channels before fencing off public art and a historically public plaza for more than seven months. Instead, lawyers will be arguing about when the specter of terrorism can be used justify suppressing information that would otherwise be public.

    Chase claims that the fences are up to protect waterproofing repairs underway in the plaza, though there's been no evidence of work on the site over the last seven months. Nagan wanted to know more. If repairs were really being undertaken, what was the plan? How long would it last? Was JP Morgan Chase complying with the work permit?

    But when Nagan filed a Freedom of Information Law request to see the repair plans filed with the city, he was told they were secret. Chase Manhattan Plaza is on a police list of sensitive buildings. If Nagan wanted to see the plans, he was told, he'd have to get the approval of the owners: JP Morgan Chase.

    Nagan didn't like the idea that a property owner could be unaccountable to public scrutiny in this way, even if the owner was a powerful bank. He appealed the decision, and when he was again denied he challenged the denial in court.

    The case is scheduled for June 27, and both sides have filed their arguments. The city argues that letting Nagan see the waterproofing plans would pose an unacceptable terrorism risk.
    Lt. David Kelly, supervisor of the NYPD's Counterterrorism Division's Threat Reduction Infrastructure Protection System, filed his own affidavit in the case. In it, he argues that making building information public is generally dangerous:

    "Counterterrorism units such as the NYPD's seek to limit the detailed information about a potential target that any individual can easily access on the Internet or in any other way in order to flush out such potential perpetrators to where they can be observed.... It is important to the protection of the life and safety of New York City citizens and visitors that petitioner not receive the detailed DOB-approved plans of 26 Nassau Street saught herein because, once public those documents could easily be accessed and distributed by anyone, including anyone wanting to use concealed explosives."

    The plans to repair the plaza's waterproofing contain very sensitive information, the city argues, "including detailed information about the stairwells and precise locations of the support columns for that building," as well as the distance between two buildings located in the complex.

    Of course, to the extent that the waterproofing plans might actually contain secret information that it would be dangerous to let the public know, there is an obvious solution: release the plans, with the discrete information redacted. Nagan's legal team advocated just that in a reply filed with the court last week.

    We'll let you know what the judge thinks when the case is heard June 27.

    Don't Fence Me OutChase Manhattan Plaza Still Fenced Off, Activists Call on Landmarks Commission To Act
    Fences Are Still Up -- What's Going On At Chase Manhattan Plaza?
    JP Morgan Chase's Life-And-Death Secret Waterproofing Plan


    http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runnin...t_waterpro.php

  4. #34
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    I was once taking pictures of 1CMP and told to stop due to sensitivity regarding the "structure". I never understood that, and the above article mentioning revealing the locations of columns makes no sense.

    The building is specifically designed to be structurally expressive. You can tell by looking at it where the structure is. That's half the point of it.

  5. #35

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    I walk by here often. If the plans are secret, the work must be secret too.

    The plaza was also closed in 2010, but that was for real construction, I think relating to 2 CMP renovation. The very popular Dine Around Downtown was again held in early June 2011. My guess is that Chase doesn't want the event to be held this year, and regardless of the outcome in court, the window will close before the plaza is reopened.

  6. #36

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    Wow, this whole thing SUCKS. The first time I went to NYC in 2010, the plaza was closed off, due to work or inspection being done on the tower's facade. I saw the scaffolds and rigging, so obviously something was up. And on my return visit in 2011, the plaza was closed to keep the occupiers out. Such a shame.

  7. #37
    Senior Member DUMBRo's Avatar
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    Shame about the plaza's closure. It's a mid-century gem that connects you with the vision of the Rockefellers of that era.

  8. #38

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    Freedom of speech! Protest wherever you want!

    ...but if you want to protest, we'll make sure to fence off any and all available space. Same thing happened with the plaza outside of City Hall in Philly, the Zuccotti Park (temporarily), and a number of similar venues across the country.

  9. #39
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    Look Here—No Trespassing on Chase's Private Property!

    by Dave Hogarty


    Looking down a former block of Cedar Street, from Nassau to William Streets


    (click to enlarge)

    JP Morgan Chase is the grumpy old man of downtown Manhattan, yelling at passersby to keep off of his lawn. In fact, don't even look at his lawn, or the expensive pieces of art that decorate it. They're not for you. Chase Manhattan Plaza was the subject of most of Community Board 1's Land Use Committee meeting last night on Chambers Street. The discussion of the plaza was spurred by an article in yesterday's Times, which raised the possibility that the Chase plaza is not actually undergoing a 9 month construction project, but that the fences were raised last September possibly to prevent Occupy Wall Street from pulling a Zuccotti on the bank's front yard. It's difficult to say, however, because the bank won't share any details about its plaza with Community Board 1, according to its committee members.

    If Chase Manhattan Plaza was a traditional Privately Owned Public Space (POPS), there would be rules about maintaining public access to the site. But the plan to create the plaza was presented to the City Planning Commission and its head Robert Moses in the late 1950s, before the advent of trading public access for structural concessions to new buildings. Although the City ceded a block of Cedar Street between Nassau and William Streets to Chase for the creation of the plaza, the plaza is now a private space, and the bank can keep the public out if it wants.

    The members of CB1's Land Use Committee seemed split on the direction it should take, but united in the need to bring a resolution before the full community board urging Chase to do something to restore access to its plaza. When the bank built its corporate headquarters downtown by interrupting the narrow streets of the financial district with an International Style tower and a sweeping plaza, it was viewed as a white knight heralding the rebirth of downtown Manhattan. But that was a time when only a handful of people called that area home. Now, tens of thousands live in the Financial District and it is one of the fastest-growing residential areas in New York City. The closure of the Chase plaza has seen the bank come full circle in its civic role, from urban white knight to a purveyor of neighborhood blight. Legally, CB1 and the City seem to have their hands tied, but are hoping that some appeal can be made to the company's better nature to restore access to its plaza.

    In the meantime, the committee applauded the Downtown Alliance for facilitating the placement of Greg Lamarche's work "Around the Corner", a stick-on mural of block-like shapes that minimizes the ugly appearance of the construction fences.

    LPC Report on One Chase Manhattan Plaza (pdf) [nyc.gov]
    Suit Seeks Plans for Closed Public Plaza as Owner’s Motives Are Questioned [NYT]

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2012/0...perty.php#more

  10. #40

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    The city should've never surrendered Cedar Street, a public passage, into private hands. Now they can do whatever they want with it without any repercussions, it seems.

    Also, I wonder if the old WTC was never destroyed, how they would've handled the Occupy protests. Would they close their plaza too?

  11. #41

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    ^Yeah, it makes you wonder! I think it SUCKS what's happening with Chase Plaza, absolutely. I've got an adorable pic of me hugging one of the marble sheathed base columns of One Penn Plaza, and I've got good memories of a friend and I giving hugs to some of NYC's other skyscrapers on our wanderings- One New York Plaza, 55 Water, One Astor Plaza, and Citicorp tower. I've always liked Chase, I'd love to get a pic with that one, shame it's all but impossible now

  12. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeCom View Post
    The city should've never surrendered Cedar Street, a public passage, into private hands.
    Maybe implied easement?

  13. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amanita View Post
    ^Yeah, it makes you wonder! I think it SUCKS what's happening with Chase Plaza, absolutely. I've got an adorable pic of me hugging one of the marble sheathed base columns of One Penn Plaza, and I've got good memories of a friend and I giving hugs to some of NYC's other skyscrapers on our wanderings- One New York Plaza, 55 Water, One Astor Plaza, and Citicorp tower. I've always liked Chase, I'd love to get a pic with that one, shame it's all but impossible now
    I feel your sentiment. As a kid, instead of hugging buildings, I liked to touch them, just to feel the texture, or what it's really like to be right there, and not just look at it. Back then I had a much less pragmatic, and much more mystical attitude towards urbanity. Interesting times.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    This would've been a better solution than the present situation, but ideally Cedar Street should've been left alone. We all know how superblocks work out in the long term, and there are obvious reasons why the new WTC's superblock is broken up and stitched back into the traditional city grid.

  14. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeCom View Post
    This would've been a better solution than the present situation, but ideally Cedar Street should've been left alone.
    I meant for the present, as a legal move. I don't know if it would hold up, but at least it seems like a logical argument.

  15. #45

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    It would be better than nothing. But then again, in a community board vs one of the world's most powerful banks battle, I think I know where to place my bets.

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