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Thread: New Columbus Circle - by The Olin Partnership

  1. #16

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    http://www.nypost.com/realestate/18827.htm
    WORK ZONE IS COLUM-BUST FOR VIEW FROM TW CENTER
    By STEVE CUOZZO
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    February 24, 2004 -- RELATED Cos. chief Stephen M. Ross wants to know why, after his company spent $1.7 billion to build Time Warner Center and open it on time, dug-up Columbus Circle outside its front door is such a mess.
    "We've asked for a task force meeting with the city," Ross said yesterday. "We need a meeting to see why it's having to take so long. Right now, it's beyond me."

    The city's Department of Design and Construction says the $20 million reconstruction of the traffic circle and its center island is on schedule, due to be finished by year's end. Only the planting of perennials must wait until spring.

    When the job is done, the island that's home to the Christopher Columbus statue will be graced by pretty landscaping and three graceful fountains. But for now, it's a ground zero-like pit full of machinery and ringed by concrete barriers.

    It isn't what shops like Joseph Abboud and J. Crew, which broke with custom by agreeing to have giant windows give shoppers a view of the outdoors, were expecting.

    And it's hard not to sympathize with Ross' annoyance. The city, under two different mayors, knew that Time Warner Center was to be completed this winter ever since Related bought the land from the MTA in the summer of 2000.

    What sort of welcome did the long-awaited edifice, with a Mandarin Oriental Hotel, luxury condos and Time Warner's new world headquarters, enjoy? Besides the circle's reconstruction, it's ringed by treacherous pedestrian crossings, street excavations on Broadway and Central Park West, and the crumbling eyesore at 2 Columbus Circle.

    Pedestrians trying to reach Time Warner Center from various approaches must make their way through one of Manhattan's most daunting traffic zones.

    The most dangerous approach is from the point where Broadway meets Central Park South. There is no traffic signal at the corner. Unless they walk to West 58th Street, pedestrians must traverse an unguarded crosswalk vulnerable to southbound auto and bus traffic that doesn't always slow down.

    The crosswalk takes strollers to the little spit of land that is home to 2 Columbus Circle, which announces the start of Midtown at Time Warner Center's feet. The Museum of Arts & Design hopes to take title to the long-empty hulk by summer and make its new home there after a sensitive redesign by architect Brad Cloepfil.

    But the eagerly-awaited transfer is tied up in court by preservationist zealots who don't want its severe, windowless front wall replaced. Meanwhile, the wretched Edward Durrell Stone structure appears to deteriorate with every passing week. Derelicts lurk under a sidewalk bridge that rings the building's base like a noose.

    After the city failed time and again to sell it - rejecting offers from Donald Trump and the Dahesh Museum among others - the Bloomberg administration last year touted its planned sale to the design museum.

    Officials at the Economic Development Corp. say they're still working with museum execs to finalize terms. EDC spokesperson Janel Patterson said, "If all goes well with the suit, we hope to close by summer."

    Museum director Holly Hotchner said through a spokesman, "The museum has raised the funds to purchase the building from the city and renovate it. Construction will begin once the museum has taken title, which will be after the lawsuit is settled. A hearing before a judge is scheduled for this Friday."

    Meanwhile, if you're walking to Time Warner Center, be sure to look both ways.

  2. #17

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    The view of Columbus Circle and the statue of Columbus from The Shops at Columbus Circle on 5 February 2004.



  3. #18
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    8) Very nice indeed...

  4. #19
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Hearing on Future of Columbus Circle

    From Christian Wieland



    http://www.machado-silvetti.com/proj...bus2/main.html

    Although this design was really interesting to me...oh well too bad :|

  5. #20

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    The design intent for Columbus Circle returns the historic monument to public access and appreciation, fostering an environment not present for a generation. The proposed design has been conceived to make the site a safe and attractive addition to the public realm of New York City at one of the principal entries to Central Park and the intersection of three significant streets: Broadway, Eight Avenue and 59th Street. The design features – paving, planting, fountains, seating and lighting – all reinforce the simple idea that Columbus Circle is unique in the City.

    The island consists of a series of concentric rings that buffer the traffic and provide a pleasant pedestrian environment for the monument, consisting of a broad, gently raised area of planting, a series of fountains, paving, benches and lights. On the outer perimeter, a ring of raised stone cobbles provides an emerging pedestrian refuge adjacent to the outer vehicular lane, which, in winter, can also accept piles of snow and salt without damage to planting. Next, a ring of colorful low plantings is formed, which can be changed and replenished seasonally. This is encircled by evergreen shrubs, placed to enhance the floral display, and a ring of trees standing in evergreen groundcovers, underplanted with spring bulbs.

    Proposed American Yellow Buckeye frame axial views to the historic monument, while providing a partial enclosure in the form of a circular room, in the center of which stands the monument. New benches, scaled to complement the civic space, are to be made of curved wood, designed to be large enough to allow individuals and groups to sit comfortably back to back, facing either the active water and planting or the monument.

    The small fountain currently surrounding the monument base is to be removed, allowing the column base to sit firmly on the ground as the central feature of the circle. People will once more be able to approach the monument, to read the inscriptions, and to study the relief sculptures on the base more easily than in recent decades. To replace the loss of the central fountain, new basins are to be created that encircle the central open area. More generous than the former basin and shaped as a series of concentric ledges to form cascades with arching jets towards the center, the new fountains will reinforce the circular design and primacy of the monument, while masking the noise of the traffic and tempering the climate in summer. The fountain is designed to form a series of bleacher seats which, when turned off, avoid the forlorn character of so many empty fountain bases in the City, visible during the colder months.

    It is the intent of these simple gestures to make obvious the importance of this civic space and monument, and to return it to the citizens and visitors of New York City as an inviting celebratory place. It is a place to pause and refresh oneself in the midst of one of the busiest intersections in the metropolis – a foyer to Central Park, an event on Broadway, and a handsome scene for those who live, work and visit this great city.

    http://www.olinptr.com/project_current_urban2.html




    Discreet Landscapes
    Laurie Olin’s graceful greenspaces are also secret security systems.

  6. #21

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    It looks great.

    My only concern is that the fountains are too close to the benches if the wind conditions are anything but calm, you are going to see people getting hit by the spray coming from the fountains.

  7. #22

    Default first hearing on future of columbus circle

    Has construction of the ring been cancelled.

  8. #23

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    Has construction of the ring been cancelled.
    Yes.

  9. #24

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    I'm glad; I prefer Olin's design.

  10. #25

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    August 1, 2004

    WEST SIDE

    Which Way Is Out? Solving the Riddle of the Circle

    STEVEN KURUTZ



    PERHAPS the best spot from which to view the construction that has overtaken Columbus Circle is not at ground level, but from the lobby of the Mandarin Oriental hotel, 35 stories above the city in the Time Warner Center, where this eastward-looking photograph was taken.

    From this lofty vantage, the entire site is laid out in precise, almost elegant detail: the improvised traffic lanes that shift to accommodate construction; the beginnings of what will be the wide outer ring; the steady procession of taxis, cars and heavy machinery around the Columbus monument.

    The $15 million renovation that will transform Columbus Circle is nearing the end of the heavy work phase. By mid-August, roadwork is expected to be completed and crews will move inside the circle to install a three-tiered fountain and to plant trees and other greenery. Matthew Monahan, a spokesman for the Department of Design and Construction, said the city plans to complete the project by year's end.

    For pedestrians and drivers who have withstood untold nuisances from pounding jackhammers and rumbling trucks, that prospect is welcome news.

    Which brings us to another reason that the view from the Mandarin is so spectacular: Up here, the only sound is the gentle whir of the air-conditioning.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  11. #26

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    Finally Columbus Circle will look more like the important place it is. It's always a good thing when the city replaces concrete with greenery. And thank God they scrapped that glass ring.

  12. #27
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    It looks like work as usual on the circle:




  13. #28

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    When is work expected to be complete?

  14. #29

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    Nice view from the monument down 8th.

    From the article:
    The $15 million renovation that will transform Columbus Circle is nearing the end of the heavy work phase. By mid-August, roadwork is expected to be completed and crews will move inside the circle to install a three-tiered fountain and to plant trees and other greenery. Matthew Monahan, a spokesman for the Department of Design and Construction, said the city plans to complete the project by year's end.

  15. #30
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    Thank God. I still think it's a shame that this mess is there when TWC is up. It should have been done in tandem. Oh well, better late than never.

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