View Poll Results: Should 2 Columbus Circle be preserved?

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  • Yes.

    10 58.82%
  • No.

    7 41.18%
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Thread: 2 Columbus Circle Redesign - Orginal: Edward Durell Stone - Redesign: Brad Cloepfil

  1. #151
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    I agree with Fabrizio. I think it is a worthy building that has had a Frankenstein series of renovations with absolutely no regard for aesthetic, history, context and, frankly, taste. The building itself is "of a time", but should the property manager ever get the sight back in his good eye, he will see the hatchet job the repairs and "renovations" have done to the building.
    Last edited by BrooklynRider; June 21st, 2005 at 09:28 AM.

  2. #152
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    He did see it, but the thing he saw first was the $$ of doing it.

    No matter how you look at it, he is earning dump-loads of $$ with doing very little to the building itself.

    So what incentive is there for him to do anything that will cost him twice as much as he ever stands to get in return?



    As for 2 Columbus, it is a dumpy marble block stuck in the circle like some sort of walkway marking stone.

    It is not attractive, it is not functional. I do not consider it heinous, but it is not a treasure either.

    Just because something is different, and expensive to produce, does not always mean it is fit for saving. the lack of functionality and the years of neglect have rendered this central air conditioning/tunnel vent looking building a useless bit of eccentric architectural history that even the people that are preserving it have, are, and will never visit.

    So I do believe it should have a formal hearing, and arguments be presented fairly on both sides. If they want to tear it down to put in an Old Navy I would be much more in favor of the existing than the proposed, but if the cities plans are for a cultural center or even a small performing arts venue for the area, I would be all in favor of demolishing this elitist impractical private art showroom.

  3. #153

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    Preservation for the sake of preservation is certainly intellectually lazy. But undermining the potential of saving structures which may have not been as significant historically or architecturally as others might result in a lost opportunity. Perhaps bland as architectural specimens in and of themselves, having witnessed few events of historical note, historic districts of rowhouses are routinely preserved in the city solely to maintain their gestalt.

    I think 2CC and 240CPS are both architecturally significant and every effort should be made to preserve and restore them on that basis. However, they do add something, moreover, to their surroundings aesthetically which is difficult to quantify. 2CC's intended use and perhaps symbolism of this is indeed ridiculous, but it confers a monumental solemnity on the circle better than the monument at its centre, even, and proves a sharp contrast to the glam of commercial Midtown. Similarly, the moderne lines of 240CPS suggest motion and aerodynamics, the perfect counterpart to a thriving traffic circle. Both buildings save the circle from becoming bland, shimmering facsimilies of the nearby Time Warner Center and characteristically flashy Trump building- they ground the circle in the reality of a New York emergent from history and not merely one that has metamorphosised overnight into a collection of glass temples. Columbus Circle should not become a glossed-over New Times Square for urban sophisticates.

  4. #154

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    240 doesn´t suggest motion and aerodynamics to me (although much of the moderne style does). 240 is tidy and rational. More like a forerunner to the Manhattan House on 3rd and 65th (built 10 years after 240).

    I too would not want to see this replaced with a glass building. There should be zoning laws requiring certain materials on an avenue like this. But imagine something of brick and limestone.

  5. #155

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    I'm ignorant entirely of construction techniques. Would it be altogether impractical to furnish 240 with a handsome, tasteful new exoskeleton? If anything, I like its form.

  6. #156
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Exoskeleton?

    First off, I think you are taking about the Facade, not any kind of Exoskeleton.

    An Exoskeleton would be exterior framing and or bracing as seen on buildings like the Sears Tower and several others in high-seismic areas. The facade is more like a skin.

    And yes, it would be VERY expensive to re-clad a building......

  7. #157
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    One thing I find interesting and, surprisingly, the strongest argument for preserving (landmarking) 2CC is the strong emotional response it gets. Recollecting many of the other threads here over the past years, I cannot recall any one structure eliciting such a visceral reaction from people. Would such a reaction not be indicative of something worthy of saving, even if just to preserve it to say - "Can you believe there was a time when they would even build something this [insert expletive here] ugly?"

    It does represent a watermark of some type in building, design, and planning that, if lost, might oft be repeated.

  8. #158

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    June 21, 2005
    2 Columbus Circle Makes Group's List of Threatened Sites
    By ROBIN POGREBIN

    Edward Durell Stone's porthole-studded building at 2 Columbus Circle, Mexico City's historic center and every "cultural heritage" site in Iraq have been added to the World Monuments Fund watch list of most endangered sites, to be released today. Preservationists have been protesting plans to reclad and recreate 2 Columbus Circle as the new home of the Museum of Arts and Design, arguing that the 1964 building represents a turning point in Modernist design.

    In an era of growing calls for the preservation of Modernist architecture, the 2006 watch list includes nine 20th-century sites. "There are enough people out there calling attention to the fact that we're losing these buildings that there is a kind of groundswell," said Bonnie Burnham, the fund's president.

    Beyond 2 Columbus Circle, the Modern group includes the Cyclorama Center in Gettysburg, Pa., built from 1958 to 1961 to house a panoramic painting that depicts the final battle there; Konstantin Melnikov's House Studio in Moscow (1927-1929), a cylindrical building that the avant-garde architect designed for his family; and the historic city center of Asmara, a series of strikingly Modernist buildings in Eritrea built by Italian occupiers from 1936 to 1941.

    Since Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after several years of fighting, efforts to restore and preserve neglected or war-ravaged cultural sites have gained momentum. Two other sites in that country made the list: the late-14th-century Kidane-Mehret Church, representative of indigenous craftsmanship (it was built in the monkey-head style, where the rounded ends of timber beams stick out of striated stone walls, resembling monkey heads); and the historic town of Massawa, a port city successively ruled by the Ottoman Turks, Egypt and Italy that retains architectural features of each culture.

    The Iraqi monuments are listed as a single entry on the roster of 100 sites, which is drawn up every two years with input from preservation groups, archaeologists and government agencies.

    Ms. Burnham said it was the first time that essentially an entire country had been listed.

    "Everything that is cultural in Iraq is threatened at the moment," she said. "We really couldn't see any other way to address it."

    Mexico City's historic center, which includes the main public square and colonial-era buildings, was included on the list to draw attention to environmental problems there, particularly the threat of sinking caused by rising water tables, Ms. Burnham said.

    The selections are made by a rotating panel of experts who evaluate the sites' significance, the urgency of their condition and the viability of the nominator's proposal to protect them. Several sites are relisted. Among those that were on the 2004 watch list are Little Hagia Sophia, the oldest preserved Byzantine church in Istanbul, which was converted to a mosque in 1504 but is closed because of structural damage; Frank Lloyd Wright's 1924 Ennis-Brown House in Los Angeles, one of four textile-block houses that the architect built from local materials; and the Panama Canal area, which the fund says is threatened by development pressures and a lack of regulation.

    "Some of these sites are so much on the tourist circuit that people don't really think about the conservation issues," Ms. Burnham said, citing, for example, the formerly listed Taj Mahal and Pompeii.

    Sites can also be unglamorous, like a fish processing site in British Columbia that once made the list, or hazy in origin, like the Pulemelei Mound in Samoa, a mysterious earth and stone monument built between 1100 and 1500 that made this year's list.

    On watch in the United States are the bluegrass cultural landscape of Kentucky, whose horse farms and training stables are threatened by urban sprawl; Hanging Flume in Montrose Country, Colo., a 13-mile-long track that was used for hydraulic gold mining in the late 19th century; and the Ellis Island baggage and dormitory building in New York, where immigrants waited to be processed for arrival or deported.

    This year's list has sites from 55 countries on all 7 continents, including Antarctica, the fund said. There is Tell Balatah from the Palestinian territories, thought by some scholars to be the biblical city of Shechem; the Roman aqueduct in Segovia, Spain, whose rough-hewn granite blocks are being eroded by pollutants; the International Fairground, built between 1963 and 1975 in Tripoli, Lebanon, which faces possible conversion into an amusement park; and the Teatro Capitolio in Lisbon, a 1930's theater that has been closed since the 1980's and is slated for demolition.

    There are six sites in China, two of which - the Cockcrow Post Town in Huailai and the Tianshui Traditional Houses in Gansu Province - have been relisted. As development gains speed there, Ms. Burnham said, "towns are rapidly disappearing."

    Among the other sites included for the first time this year are Afghanistan's oldest mosque, the Haji Piyada in the northern province of Balkh, whose mud-brick and stucco decorations date from the ninth century; the Tarrafal concentration camp (1933) on Santiago Island in Cape Verde, which housed political opponents of Salazar's fascists and, later, African nationalists rebelling against colonial rule; and Hemingway's house in Cuba (1886), where the author wrote works including "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "The Old Man and the Sea" and "A Moveable Feast."

    The fund is one of several organizations that have watch lists. (Unesco maintains the World Heritage List, for example.) It is privately financed and funnels aid to preservationist efforts. Since 1996, it has distributed about $35 million.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/21/ar...n/21monu.html?

  9. #159
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Nah.

    I just find it silly/boring.

  10. #160

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    Oops, I was using exoskeleton metaphorically. Of course I meant new facade. I didn't even know "exoskeleton" referred to something specifically (outside the insect world, at least).

  11. #161

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    Exoskeletal means that the structure is on the outside, like an insect. The WTC and the new Hearst tower are partly exoskeletal, as a great deal of the load is carried on the outside skin (helped by the core). This allows column-free space, of course.

    CZSZ, I really like your eloquent arguments for 2CC. I agree completely.

  12. #162

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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasjfletcher
    CZSZ, I really like your eloquent arguments for 2CC. I agree completely.
    So do I, Cz.


    What a little beauty! What a Circle! What a shame they’re going to dress down the little beauty in overalls.



    These buildings make good music together. It helps that they play different tones:



    A good neighbor:








  13. #163

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    It's really awful and will not be missed by most.

    I think most of the preservation advocates are so vociferous in order to spite Time Warner and Trump, as its current dilapidated state undoutedly scares visitors and reduces neighborhood property values. The juxtaposition between Time Warner and the pigeon-scarred wreck across the street is ridiculous.

    Allied Works has a wonderful design for the new museum and I look forward to its implementation.

  14. #164

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    A question: I find the wavy glass (look at the wavy reflections) on the TWC ugly and very cheap looking. Is this a construction defect? Or am I being picky? Look at the Trump World Tower as an example... the glass hangs falls perfectly flat and looks so much better.

  15. #165
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Nope I think that is the way it is. I do like the glass though. TWC are just two beautiful towers. I love to see them all the time and visit them often.

    Great photos ablarc! The reflection of 2CC on TWC is simply amazing yet ugly. 2CC needs renovation or a big clean up. But right now is the ugly ducklin on the circle.

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