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Thread: NIMBYs against UN expansion

  1. #1

    Default NIMBYs against UN expansion

    Newsday...

    Neighbors object to city's plans to renovate UN
    *
    December 26, 2002, 3:17 AM EST

    NEW YORK (AP) _ Members of the community board that encompasses the United Nations say they disapprove of the city's plan to use public parkland to expand the agency's headquarters in exchange for an esplanade along the East River, a published report said Thursday.

    "We don't think that's equal to an active park," Edward Rubin, chairman of the land use committee for Community Board 6, told The New York Times. "We won't go easy on this."

    The city plans to build a 35-story, $350 million office building on a public park one block south of the United Nations. The new tower would house about 4,500 United Nations employees during the five years it would take to renovate the crumbling Secretariat building.

    After the Secretariat building is refurbished, the United Nations would consolidate its other programs in the tower. The new tower and the Secretariat building would be connected by a tunnel.

    Janel Patterson, a spokeswoman for the city's Economic Development Corporation, told The Times the agency was evaluating its options and would present its proposal to the community board in February.

    Last week, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a capital renovation plan, allocating $1.05 billion to renovate the Secretariat building.

  2. #2

    Default NIMBYs against UN expansion

    NY Times...

    U.N. Expansion Proceeds, Even as Neighbors Object
    By CHARLES V. BAGLI

    The Bloomberg administration is moving forward with plans to build a 35-story, $350 million office building for the United Nations on a public park near the East River, despite neighborhood opposition.

    The new tower would allow the United Nations to move about 4,500 people out of its headquarters in the crumbling Secretariat building so that the building could be renovated. It would also extend the United Nations campus along First Avenue by one block, to 41st Street. The campus now stretches from 42nd Street to 48th Street.

    Although the United Nations General Assembly adopted a capital master plan for the project last week, members of the local community board say they are unwilling to go along with it.

    The city's proposal to replace the parkland used for the office tower with an esplanade along the East River does not adequately offset the loss of a valuable public asset, they said.

    "We don't think that's equal to an active park," said Edward Rubin, chairman of the land use committee for Community Board 6. "We won't go easy on this."

    The private use of parkland is a particularly volatile issue in densely built Manhattan, where the smallest bit of green space is highly prized. Christian DiPalermo, executive director of New Yorkers for Parks, said that Board 6's area, from 14th Street to 59th Street on the East Side, had some of the least amount of land devoted to public parks among the neighborhoods in the city.

    Janel Patterson, a spokeswoman for the city's Economic Development Corporation, said the agency was still working on the plans, which she expected to present to the community board in February.

    "The exact plan to mitigate the loss of park space is still being examined," she said. "But possible alternatives include an esplanade along the East River and enhanced utilization of the U.N.'s north lawn."

    The proposed 950,000-square-foot office tower for the United Nations would sit on the western half of Robert Moses Playground, a windswept asphalt park on First Avenue, between 41st and 42nd Streets. The park surrounds a 10-story ventilation shaft for the Queens-Midtown Tunnel. A dog run and handball courts at the 1.3-acre playground would go untouched, but an area used for roller hockey would disappear under the new tower.

    Mr. Rubin suggested that the city could compensate the community by building a new park of at least equal size on part of the 9.2 acres south of Robert Moses Playground. Developers have proposed creating a vast office and residential complex on that property. The developers, the Fisher real estate family and Sheldon H. Solow, had hoped that the United Nations would be a tenant for that project.

    But months ago, the developers told Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff that it made more sense to leave the playground alone and build the new United Nations tower on their property. They have argued that using that property for the tower would also avoid potential security problems related to building over the Queens-Midtown tunnel.

    The developers are buying the land from Consolidated Edison, which recently tore down a nearby nine-story office tower at 708 First Avenue.

    The city and the United Nations Development Corporation, however, have persisted with plans to build on the park because the United Nations wants to control, rather than lease, the building.

    On Dec. 20, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a capital plan, which set a $1.05 billion construction budget for the renovation of the landmark glass and marble Secretariat building. The building, which is 50 years old, is plagued by outmoded ventilation systems, exploding steam valves, falling concrete, asbestos and lead paint.

    Under the plan, the United Nations would move in 2004 to the newly built tower for five years, until the renovation of the Secretariat is completed. A tunnel would connect the new tower to the old United Nations campus.

    When the headquarters reopens, the United Nations would consolidate its other programs and agencies into the new tower. That would enable the city to sell the buildings at 1, 2 and 3 United Nations Plaza.

    The United Nations hopes to obtain a long-term $1 billion loan from the United States for the project. In all likelihood, the United Nations Development Corporation, an agency created by the city and the state, would issue bonds for the separate development of the 35-story tower. But first, the agency would have to go to the State Legislature for permission to build on a public park.

  3. #3

    Default NIMBYs against UN expansion

    NIMBYS??? *They want it both ways? *They want a city, AND green space? * * *

  4. #4

    Default NIMBYs against UN expansion

    I am just being sarcastic, of course. Don't mind me!

    (Edited by amigo32 at 5:05 am on Dec. 27, 2002)

  5. #5

    Default NIMBYs against UN expansion

    Green space is overrated...

  6. #6

    Default NIMBYs against UN expansion

    How about a green building ?
    A building that includes trees and plants, and respects the natural light is feasible. There should be more of them.

  7. #7
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    Default NIMBYs against UN expansion

    Quote: from Fabb on 4:27 am on Dec. 28, 2002
    How about a green building ?
    A building that includes trees and plants, and respects the natural light is feasible. There should be more of them.
    It probably wouldn't sit well with the NIMBYs. *They'd claim that such an approach would result in a "corporate atrium" with too forbidding a presence to be utilized by the public.

  8. #8

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    Why is this UN building thread closed. I don't think there's another thread on the building around.
    http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showth...?t=3696&page=1



    Large: chrisk1982

  9. #9

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    Um...I guess these go here:



  10. #10

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    Because the old cladding's spandrel panels were the same as the view windows, they were better. The new, more reflective window cladding makes the spandrels read as horizontal stripes. This makes the building less of an abstract sculpture by introducing an unwelcome element --in this particular modernist example-- of SCALE.

    This building's function and symbolism suggest a monumentality beyond scale.
    Last edited by ablarc; March 14th, 2011 at 07:39 PM.

  11. #11

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    The old cladding is on the bottom. The new uniform cladding is above.

    I actually don't mind the tacky-toned glass. Maybe I got use it...

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
    The old cladding is on the bottom. The new uniform cladding is above.
    Then the new uniform cladding is actually a restoration to the original concept.

    Bravo!

    The garish two-tone cladding must have lasted barely more than a decade.

  13. #13
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    In this old image the horizontals are barely noticeable (aside from the 3 bands that really stand out):



    Another old view (BIG Image HERE):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14

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    Find me a picture from 1975 ... please.

  15. #15
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Yes, sir.

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