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Thread: One Penn Plaza

  1. #1

    Default One Penn Plaza

    I couldn't find a thread for this building, so I decided to start one.
    In my honest opinion, this is a very underrated building, and considering how large and prominent it is, I am surprised it doesn't get more attention. I couldn't even find it in my copy of "New York 1960", which has practically everything built around that time period. I can't find much of anything written on the history of this building, not much at all. Given the controversy of its location (right next to the late penn station), I'm surprised more wasn't said at the time it went up, at least that I can find. Even the architecture critics of the period seemed to have been oddly silent.

    Anyhow, I'll start this off with some pictures, taken my myself:












  2. #2

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    Anything that came out of the Penn Station redevelopment is univerally hated by the crowd that believes nothing in NYC should ever change.

  3. #3

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    Anything that came out of the Penn Station redevelopment is univerally hated by the crowd that believes in good architecture and intelligent urbanism.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I'm a fan. It's big, but also elegant (in my opinion). I actually worked there for a few months and the floor I was on was quite nice. Also convenient to not have to leave the building to get to the subway.

  5. #5

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    My biggest problem with the building is the cheap flimsy detailing...those aluminum rods. One Penn is dreary.

    Compare it's skin with the impeccable, high-quality skin of another monster building from the same era (early 1970's)... the Solow on 57th.

  6. #6
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    A few cruddy shots from when I worked there:



    Elevator lobby on an office floor



    A couple of views

    Storm:



    Shitstorm:


  7. #7

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    ^MMM, Nice I like the interior shots, something not often seen. I wanted to get some pics of the lobby- (A friend and I were invited in there by security when they saw the belt buckle I was wearing, featuring the building logo) unfortunately, they've got a rule against taking pics in the lobby Too bad, because it's a nice lobby, with all that granite.
    I rather like One Penn's pinstripes, although I imagine they're due for another good polishing. About the only major change I would make would be to swap out some of the mismatched windows- if you look at some of the pics I posted, notice that some of the windows aren't as reflective as the rest. I would swap those with replacements that match the originals much more closely, so the facade doesn't look quite as mottled. That by itself would be a big help
    Looking at that storm pic, I wonder if the building ever gets hit by lightning, or does the nearby ESB hog it all? I remember reading an article dating back to when the roof signs were added, people in chelsea were right butthurt over it! Too bad, I think the roof signs look cool, and give the building some added color, not to mention skyline presence at night. Flying out of JFK, I could actually pick out those red signs from the rest of the lights around!

    One Penn Plaza actually inspired my halloween/sci-fi convention costume this past year, I will have to post pics later.
    (I'm also a fan of Solow, she's such a beauty )

  8. #8

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    Pin stripes on black glass were huge back then... 1 Astor Plaza... the Paramount Plaza Building...

  9. #9

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    One Astor was designed by the same firm that did One Penn, Kahn and Jacobs. So maybe that explains the familial resemblance. Not sure who did Paramount though.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DUMBRo's Avatar
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    Love the elegant proportions of this NY icon but like so many others, I'm not too happy about the location its developers chose.

  11. #11
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    Thank you for taking the time to bring up this difficult-to-overlook-but-easily-ignored building. I appreciate mid century modernism better than most people, but I am sorry to say that IMHO One Penn Plaza and 1 Astor Plaza are terrible examples of the genre and did far more to discredit modern architecture in the 1970's than they added to the cityscape of New York.

  12. #12

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    I like 1 Penn Plaza, especially from the narrow sides. I never looked at it as a serious peice of architecture though.
    Its prewar neighbors and gritty neighborhood help make this lazy block of space striking.


    nycjamie

  13. #13

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    ^Yeah, One Penn really stands out! That's why I am surprised it doesn't get more attention. If it's because of its site, again I'm surprised. If people were that pissed at it because of where it was, wouldn't there be more written about it?

    And yes, I actually like One Astor too- that crown is just hella cool, because it's so different.

  14. #14
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    Well, Amanita, to each his own. Neither is going anywhere anytime soon, so we are stuck looking at them. To my eyes, One Penn and 1 Astor plazas are simply cheap and banal.

    Do you have any thoughts about No. 2 Broadway before it was reclad? Please share!

  15. #15

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    I'm not familiar with that one, does it have its own thread? (So as not to derail this one)

    I wish I could get a picture of the One Penn lobby. For a modern lobby, it's actually pretty nice- a lot of granite everywhere. And the cool thing is, they didn't polish it, it's got a textured finish, which is unusual.

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