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Thread: The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline

  1. #1

    Default The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline

    http://www.nymetro.com/nymetro/news/...y/35th/n_8569/
    New York Magazine's 35th Anniversary
    Space Invaders
    The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline.

    By Joseph Giovannini

    1. PENN STATION COMPLEX, Midtown, including Madison Square Garden and 2 Penn Plaza, by Charles Luckman Associates (1968): We tore down McKim, Mead and White’s Pennsylvania Station for this?

    2. PARAMOUNT PLAZA, at 1633 Broadway, by Emery Roth & Sons (1968): A cheap black box with glitzy stainless-steel suspenders set behind a windswept plaza with two inexplicable holes in the ground.

    3. ONE ASTOR PLAZA, at 1515 Broadway, by Kahn & Jacobs, with chief designer Der Scutt (1969): Infamous for its crown of rabbit ears, and just as clumsy on the ground, where the hulk dominates Broadway.

    4. 1185 SIXTH AVENUE, by Emery Roth & Sons (1971): The most offensive of the long line of offenders along Sixth Avenue north of 42nd Street. Mean, ugly, and big.

    5. NEW YORK TELEPHONE COMPANY BUILDING, 1095 Sixth Avenue, opposite Bryant Park, by Kahn & Jacobs (1974): This bland tower makes an unsuccessful try at collaging three architectural scales together—medium, tall, and Goliathan—to warm up the company’s image. Cold to the touch; needs a face-lift.

    6. THE EX-AT&T BUILDING (1984), 33 MAIDEN LANE (1986), and 885 Third Avenue, a.k.a. the LIPSTICK BUILDING (1986): The worst of many by architecture’s Public Enemy No. 1, Philip Johnson, the cynic who believes in no style but practices them all.

    7. 60 WALL STREET, by Kevin Roche (1989): A gargantua set within downtown’s fragile street network, its façade detailed whimsically to look like a column. Ha ha.

    8. ONE WORLDWIDE PLAZA, at 935 Eighth Avenue, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (1989): Guilty of postmodernist me-tooism—a middlebrow attempt at ye olde Ralph Lauren. Complete with a failed English-style shopping gallery at its base. Wrong city, wrong century.

  2. #2

    Default The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline

    I agree with #6 and 7.

    The other ones are OK... or really great in some cases.

  3. #3
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    Default The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline

    I mostly agree with the list although I can think of worse: 55 Water and 1 Liberty for starters. I like the World Wide Plaza and the Lipstick Building though.

  4. #4

    Default The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline

    The only building in this list and probably the only building in NY that I truly hate is 60 Wall Street. *The location, the bulk, the laughable design make for a disastrous effect on the skyline.

  5. #5

    Default The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline

    3, 6 and 8 need to be dropped from that list.

    I almost said #1 as well, but 1 Penn Plaza doesn't seem included in that one, and the rest of that complex is nasty.

    For the others, as Rich, I only truly hate 60 Wall. The others are just filler, although #5 is pretty damn prominent. Hopefully that relatively large plot north of it will bear something that sidelines it.

    I'm mildly amused that Metlife didn't make it, even tho I love that one.

  6. #6

    Default The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline

    1. Agreed. Very ugly by and large. Especially bad considering what was replaced. 1 Penn is the best of the lot though.

    2. Not great but better than any number of other black boxes.

    3. Disagree. While not great it works well on the skyline.

    4. Not good but bland enough not to be insulting.

    5. Hardly among the top 10 worst. Not all that bad for its era.

    6. 33 Maiden Lane is pretty bad but the ATT and Lipstick building are quite good.

    7. 60 Wall only works well on the street level, exactly what he complains about. On the list but not for the right reason.

    8. Compared to some other montrosities in the city this hardly qualifies.

    Worst of the rest

    1251 6th
    55 Water St.
    Solow
    Mcgraw Hill
    Home Insurance
    888 7th
    919 Third

    I could go on.

  7. #7

    Default The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline

    does anyone have any pictures of these?

  8. #8

    Default The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline

    You can find pictures of most of them at www.skyscrapers.com

  9. #9

    Default The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline

    I think Joseph Giovannini doesn't really love NY.
    The big, fat, tall buildings of the 60s and 70s are part of the cityscape, and every NY lover should accept them.

    In fact, they're much better than the tall, anemic buildings like 425, 5th, or the squat boxes like CIBC that flourish in Manhattan right now.

  10. #10

    Default The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline

    I'm surprised that there's no Trump on the list. *
    I'd put them in this order, from worst to less worse:

    7. *Ruins the whole damn skyline),
    1 . 1 Penn blocks ESB when coming in from NJ, sign on top is hideous, and of course the whole complex is awful, one of the worst mistakes in NY architecture
    5. *Hurts to look at, combination of offensive design and slapdash construction
    2. *Trully tacky , messes up broadway at street level
    6. *Just because 33 Maiden Lane is so ugly--the other two I like-- but if you were to weigh them, the ugliness of 33 maiden Lane has done far more harm than the other two combined have done good.
    3. *doesn't bother me that much. *They did tear down an historic nice hotel, but NYC has historic hotels out the ying-yang -- they tore one down to build the ESB.
    8. *everything he said about it is right, but it has many redeeming qualities. *I like how it works as a complex and it looks fantastic in the skyline -- at night from a distance. *I see tourists taking pictures of it all the time! *If you squint your eyes when you look at it, you can't tell how chintzy the masonry cladding is.

  11. #11

    Default The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline

    I forgot 1185 6th ave, but that one doesn't bother me that much, either. *It fits in with its neighbors.

  12. #12

    Default The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline

    Whats so bad about 33 Maiden Lane? Are we not talking about the same building?



    It caught my eye years ago when I was in high school as the little medieval fortress of downtown I've been fond of it since.

    I also have a soft spot for the neon red sign on 1 Penn Plaza. I have an image of it hovering over Union Square on a rainy night etched into my mind.

  13. #13

    Default The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline

    Wel, there's no accounting for taste. *You don't think 33 maiden lane looks like it was designed by an 11-year-old and built out of legos? *It's an ugly color, there's little subtlety to the design, and the quality of construction is poor. *It's a crude joke of a building, especially when you the real thing to compare it to nearby (Federal Reserve). *I can't stand half-assed historicism.

  14. #14

    Default The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline

    The Federal Reserve. *This is how you do a medieval fortress:


  15. #15

    Default The eight worst buildings to have blighted our skyline

    cant believe metlife didnt make the list, seems like a lot of people that building although i like it, it does block the view

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