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Thread: Proposed: New Six-star Hotel - 516 Fifth Avenue - by Pelli Clarke Pelli

  1. #16
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYC4Life View Post

    The Landmarks Preservation Commision can really use an overhaul itself.

    It's rather dumbfounding to see what gets preserved and what doesn't.
    LPC members are all appointed by the Mayor.

    Puppets on a string ...

  2. #17

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    I think it’s unfair to blame the mayor or accuse his office of being corrupt every time something bad happens or something doesn’t go your way. The mayor has hardly ever concerned himself with individual landmarks and private single-building projects.

    The commissioners do not have salaries, so I doubt there are many strings to be pulled. They are all successful architects, planners and historians. Rather, their decisions are probably based on the little power they possess and maybe even a little poor taste.

    Unless the work is outstanding, buildings are very difficult to landmark if the owner does not support it. Rosen has owned 516 for a while, and they can have it demo’d by the time a hearing is announced to save it.

    Does Landmarks have the time, budget or staff to take on a big developer and compel a judge that their property is so outstanding that the owner can not do what they wish to it, despite being under zoning regulations.

    Also remember when developers buy buildings in Manhattan they are paying a large amount for the unused potential of the site. Will the city compensate the developer?

  3. #18
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Sorry, but that seems naive ^

    Landmarking has been upheld by the US Supreme Court.

    Can you show one case where a property owner has undone via legal means a determination by LPC to Landmark a NYC property?

    What does and does not get the nod from LPC -- and the timing of same -- is done via back room deals involving Pols, Developers & Owners.

    The understanding of what should & shouldn't happen is set by the one up top.

    Political puppets don't always require monetary compensation to sway their opinions. Often it's enough to be allowed to remain with in the club of players -- access & cache & what not.

  4. #19

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    Well, at least we're getting a decent size tower, which almost makes up for the demolition of some beautiful structures that should've been landmarked and preserved.

  5. #20
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
    To show you how twisted this city has become, this is that 1954 SOM-designed bank building that is landmarked:




    Meanwhile just right across 43rd St, 516 is not protected and will be razed...



    That Google map pic ^ doesn't even show the beautiful detailing at the top of this building. Just mindnumbingly incredible.
    Well put. How can these people be taken seriously???

  6. #21
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    I think many folks in this city have gotten the wrong impression of Bloomberg's administration.

    While the West Side, Brooklyn and Queens waterfront rezonings and the last real estate/construction boom (which was a national phenomenon and not just solely a NY occurence) grabbed headlines and have given him the reputation as staunchly pro-development, the truth is that no single administration in the history of this city has taken the community's input into rezonings and no other administration has downzoned as many areas both in terms of whole numbers and in land area as much as Bloomberg's has.

    There are now huge swaths of the city that before this administration, you can build very large but has since the rezonings you can no longer. Putting height limits even on the avenues that were upzoned, where there was none before.

    What the administration has basically done is to guide development from small side streets to the broader avenues, from areas with less access to mass transit to areas with more subway and bus lines.

    These are all very progressive planning concepts which you will find very few people will disagree with.

    As for landmarking, Bloomberg has made it a priority to landmark as many buildings in the city during his time in office as possible.

    Here's a recent NY Post article:
    LANDMARKS BLOOMBLITZ
    1,000 SITES AWAIT ACTION


    By TOM TOPOUSIS
    Posted: 4:18 am
    July 28, 2008

    With less than 18 months left in Mayor Bloomberg's final term, the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission is in a race against the clock to approve historic designations for more than 1,000 buildings.

    The number of proposed designations includes a planned new historic district in Prospect Heights with 860 of the buildings.

    Last year, only 369 buildings were approved citywide.

    "The clock is ticking, and we're trying to do as much as possible while we have the momentum and the resources," said Landmarks Preservation Commissioner Robert Tierney.

    "I'm not sure 'urgent' is the right word, but there is a sense that we have to move ahead."

    It's just the first month of the current fiscal year, but Landmarks officials already have their eyes on two other new historic districts:

    * Alice and Agate Courts in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The district comprises 40 late-19th-century homes on two cul-de-sacs off of Atlantic Avenue.

    * Ridgewood, Queens, where roughly 100 buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries are being considered.

    A district of former factory buildings in West Chelsea was approved earlier this month.

    "Over the next 18 months, we have our eyes on a lot of properties that we've been surveying," Tierney said.

    Landmarks preservation has been a priority in the Bloomberg administration. This year, the relatively small agency was one of the few city departments that did not have to cut its budget as the city struggles with lower projected tax collections.

    The preservation agency received a $4.3 million budget, compared with the $3.1 million it had to work with in 2004.

    During the Bloomberg administration, an average of 399 buildings a year have been added to the landmarks rolls, compared with an average of just over 200 a year under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

    "Certainly since their modest funding and staffing increases, their level of activity had increased," said Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

    "Do we always agree with them? No. But there are definitely more things that are good things."

    The proposed historic designation for Prospect Heights would cover a neighborhood bordering the megadevelopment at Atlantic Yards. Similarly, the West Chelsea district abuts the massive Hudson Yards project.

    Part of the pressure on Landmarks comes from the wave of construction sweeping across the city.

    "It's a challenge to be sure," Tierney said of efforts to protect historic buildings from destruction. "I believe development and preservation can coexist if done the right way."

    Copyright 2008 NYP Holdings, Inc.
    That ^ last quote from Tierney pretty much sums up what this adminstration is at least trying to do: allow development but in a smarter way, something all the other previous administrations wouldn't even have a clue over.

    As for Landmarks, while we may not agree with their decisions, we must also realize that they are made up of individuals, each with their own tastes and preferences and that they're not always going to get it right (as we have seen).

    Anyway, I thought I should set the record straight but I don't think we should get any more sidetracked on that so let's get back on topic.

  7. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
    ....How conveniernt that these historically sensitive architects are going to compliment a bank from the 50's but not give a nod to the older landmarks they are transferring their rights from and demolishing. It would be more honest if they just said we designed a glass box because it was cheapest to build.

    This reminds me of Zuckerman's Lever House B.S. going up at 55th & Eighth.
    I completely agree with you and thought the same thing. This cheap SOB could have hired R. A. M. Stern and developed a lavish limestone tower.


  8. #23
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    That ^ looks like something Kondylis would come up with.

  9. #24
    European Import KenNYC's Avatar
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    I'd say it looks like everything Kondylis has come up with... Ok not quite that bad, but the guy is a broken record of sorts.

    That being said I completely agree it seems weird to chose to complement this worthless bank when the 516 building was so much more beautiful.

  10. #25
    10 Barclay = Decepticon Optimus Prime's Avatar
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    Let's not besmirch the Hanover Trust Bank building simply because it is landmarked and a lovely beaux arts building that should be landmarked is not. Hanover deserves its status. It was one of the most influential buildings ever built in this town. That its style became all too prevalent later, for the wrong reasons, should take nothing away from it.

  11. #26

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    ^ Astute comment.

  12. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    Sorry, but that seems naive ^

    Landmarking has been upheld by the US Supreme Court.

    Can you show one case where a property owner has undone via legal means a determination by LPC to Landmark a NYC property?

    What does and does not get the nod from LPC -- and the timing of same -- is done via back room deals involving Pols, Developers & Owners.

    The understanding of what should & shouldn't happen is set by the one up top.

    Political puppets don't always require monetary compensation to sway their opinions. Often it's enough to be allowed to remain with in the club of players -- access & cache & what not.

    A developer can not undo what has not been done yet. The LPC rarely designate landmarks without the support of the owner.

  13. #28

  14. #29

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    More bars in more places.
    With all the crap springing up perhaps this should be our new motto instead of Excelsior or The Empire State.



















    At only 678' the tower's views toward the south will be mostly blocked by 500 Fifth (697'). If he saved 516 Fifth he could build a taller more slender tower with views over Bryant Park and to the ESB. Apparently the economics don't justify this.
    Last edited by Derek2k3; August 23rd, 2008 at 04:15 PM.

  15. #30
    The Dude Abides
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    I'm interested in seeing some more detailed renderings. This one seems like it'll resemble 610 Lexington, which could be a good thing. I just don't see it as a location for a six-star hotel (either lot, for that matter).

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