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Thread: Endangered NYC - Lost & Threatened Treasures

  1. #241
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    Thanks for the info.

  2. #242
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Hotel Belmont

    From Streetscapes, March 4th, 1990:

    The 22-story Hotel Belmont was built in 1906 on the west side of Park Avenue, from 41st to 42nd Streets. Designed by Warren & Wetmore for the financier August Belmont, it was the first of the new super-hotels to open around the new Grand Central Terminal, projected in 1903 and completed in 1913. According to ''New York 1930,'' by Robert A.M. Stern, Gregory Gilmartin and Thomas Mellins, the Belmont was demolished to make way for an 85-story skyscraper, which was never built. In 1940, the Airlines Building, an unusual, streamlined airport bus terminal designed to be the air-age counterpart of Grand Central, went up on the site. This was demolished in 1977 for the present Philip Morris Building.

    Past:



    http://murrayhill.gc.cuny.edu/parkaveq/ (nice website about Murray Hill)


    Very sad loss:



    Present:



    http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=115226

  3. #243

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    OMG! How could that magnificent building been destroyed in 1977??? Anyone around here back then and can remember if there was any fuss about it?

  4. #244

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    How the f*ck, pardon my language, have we done such things, yet we keep doing them?

    What's the deal with 516 Fifth? If that comes down after the travesty at the Drake, I just give up. I give up.

  5. #245
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    How? The general populace is (and was) either too apathetic or preoccupied - in most cases both - to wield what limited power they have. Even among the people here who care, it's unlikely that many (I know some have) wrote letters or called the Mayors Office or the LPC about Newsweek or The Drake, even after the hammer had fallen, just to voice their outrage.

    The public may also lack awareness that a historical treasure is going to be razed; they may have a sterile sense of aesthetics (i.e. SSPers cheering every new tower); they may have little understanding of what makes a city great from an architectural/historical/urban planning perspective.

    Then there are the developers: we know they are driven by their unquenchable greed ("responsibility to shareholders") to make the most profitable building possible - all else be damned. They have the money, connections and guile to knock down the greatest of structures, as we've seen. Their enablers are the corporations and residents who lease space in their buildings. Whereas once upon a time a company like Woolworth wanted to leave an indelible mark on the City "for the ages", today the City's richest companies care nothing for their civic or architectural legacy (see Goldman Sachs and its anonymous publicly-financed hq).
    Last edited by RandySavage; March 25th, 2009 at 01:22 AM.

  6. #246
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    As a follow-up to Merry's post, here is that same area, Pershing Square, once known as The World Center of Great Hotels:



    The original hotels ((from RtoL) Commodore (reclad), Biltmore (reclad), Manhattan (razed), Belmont (razed)) are no more. The proposed but never built Murray Hill Hotel on the far left would have been the greatest of them all and belongs in the woulda, coulda, shoulda thread.

    The park is, of course, no more, but became the site for some great buildings, including the Chanin and Pershing Sq. Building.

    EDIT: Upon further reading, it turns out that the Pershing Sq. park, was planned but never actually built. The building took its name.
    Last edited by RandySavage; March 29th, 2009 at 02:36 PM.

  7. #247
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BPC View Post
    OMG! How could that magnificent building been destroyed in 1977??? Anyone around here back then and can remember if there was any fuss about it?
    If you're referring to the Airlines Terminal building, BPC, at least the eagles were saved:

    From http://www.louisvilleartdeco.com/fea...hambellan.html featuring Rene Paul Chambellan's work:

    Airlines Terminal Building (Airlines Building) - New York, New York
    Demolished. Chambellan sculpted the large eagles on the roof. It appears from the photo that he also may have done some work around the main entrance. The eagles were saved and moved to Best Foods in Richmond, Virgina. That building is now owned by Bank of America.



  8. #248
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    Still on the subject of Rene Paul Chambellan, another gorgeous Art Deco building lost:

    Stewart and Company building


    725 Fifth Avenue at East 56th Street, Warren & Wetmore, 1929:

    Past:





    Present (Trump Tower):



  9. #249

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    How many at wirednewyork personally called or wrote letters or emails to express their outrage? I sent one to Chair Tierney just last night.

  10. #250

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    The Stewart building eventually became Henri Bendel... it was especially wonderful because it was a brother to the Tiffany building right next door. They were 2 jewell box buildings sitting next to one another. There was no out-cry when it was torn down, but preservationists pleaded with Trump to save the Art-Deco grills that flanked the door-way. He unfortunately had them destroyed.

    In the meantime the Tiffany building has been butchered with the floor additions at the top with those horrible horizontal windows.

    I was in NYC in 77 and loved the Airlines building. It was majestic with those sculptures at the top and should not have been torn down, but it's very hard to understand today how far 42nd street around Grand Central had fallen. The Phillip Morris building was a big deal when it was finished and was given much praise, believe it or not.

    There was an important art gallery or small museum housed in the building, I can't remember the details, but I don't think it's there any more. Phillip Morris, along with Trump's reclad of the Commodore, were seen as faith in this stretch of 42nd Street.

  11. #251
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandySavage View Post
    How? The general populace is (and was) either too apathetic or preoccupied - in most cases both - to wield what limited power they have. Even among the people here who care, it's unlikely that many (I know some have) wrote letters or called the Mayors Office or the LPC about Newsweek or The Drake, even after the hammer had fallen, just to voice their outrage.

    The public may also lack awareness that a historical treasure is going to be razed; they may have a sterile sense of aesthetics (i.e. SSPers cheering every new tower); they may have little understanding of what makes a city great from an architectural/historical/urban planning perspective.

    Then there are the developers: we know they are driven by their unquenchable greed ("responsibility to shareholders") to make the most profitable building possible - all else be damned. They have the money, connections and guile to knock down the greatest of structures, as we've seen. Their enablers are the corporations and residents who lease space in their buildings. Whereas once upon a time a company like Woolworth wanted to leave an indelible mark on the City "for the ages", today the City's richest companies care nothing for their civic or architectural legacy (see Goldman Sachs and its anonymous publicly-financed hq).
    All very true.

    I just want to add that in this city, the general public's fear are of new buildings (particularly large or tall ones) and not of losing old ones.

    A great example is what happened in and around Columbus Circle. When the original proposal to build a large tower on the current Time Warner site, everyone and their uncle came out and opposed it. The outcry made headlines.

    Meanwhile, propose to deface the Newsweek building and 2 CC and no one cares.

  12. #252
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    More George B. Post buildings (there have been way too many).

    Produce Exchange


    at Bowling Green on Beaver Street, 1884





    Replaced with 2 Broadway, Emery Roth & Sons, 1959-60, resurfaced 1999:






    Western Union Telegraph

    Broadway and Dey Street, 1873-75







    The American Skyscraper, 1850-1940 By Joseph J. Korom, Jr., Page 70 onwards

    Replaced with, at last and at least, something worthy, AT&T, 195 Broadway:



    While compiling this post, I came across this lovely image of the corner of Dey Street and Broadway:



    http://www.newyorkcitywalk.com/html/images_Pop.html

    And this one:



    http://cgi.ebay.com/1903-New-York-Ci...3261210009r225

  13. #253
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    The Produce Exchange was a gorgeous building... and its replacement is a dumpy squat blob of crap. If only the Exchange could have been saved and converted to a public space: museum or downtown transit hub (with an express direct link to JFK).
    Before
    After

  14. #254
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    Today, the movie palace is all but extinct. New York once was home to the greatest collection of these in the world. We’ve already covered the grandest of them all, The Roxy. Here are some other lost palaces, four of which lasted until 1980s and 1990s!:

    The Strand (“In a Class By Itself”) 1914-1987


    The Criterion 1914-1936


    The Rialto (“the Temple of the Motion Picture”) 1916-1998


    The Rivoli 1917-1932


    The Capitol 1917-1992


    The Loew’s State 1921-1986


    The Paramount 1926-1967


    The Loew’s Paradise 1929-1973 resurrected in 2005

    To end on a happy note: After being gutted in 1973, the Loew’s Paradise on 184th street in the Bronx was restored to its near original grandeur in 2005:


    Interesting information on these and others old Palaces can be found here:
    http://cinematreasures.org/architect...xpand&show=all

  15. #255
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    I know it was a prison, but I hate to see any Art Deco buildings destroyed. A conversion, if feasible, would have been preferable, although the Jefferson Market Garden that replaced it is beautiful.

    Women's House of Detention, Sloan & Robertson, 1931



    http://www.nyc-architecture.com/GV/G...ketLibrary.htm





    http://www.urbansculptures.com/build...late-65-b.html


    A well equipped operating theatre in the new Women's House of Detention on Greenwich Avenue, New York, 1932.

    www.jamd.com/image/g/80743560

    Present:



    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15353187

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