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Thread: Citigroup Center - 153 East 53rd Street - by Stubbins Associates / Emery Roth & Sons

  1. #31
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Manhattan - UWS


    Well...I am sure that after this weekend winter storm, they got a lot of snow to clear out! :roll:

  2. #32


    Hmm, does anyone know if white solar panels are something possible to make? I've only seen black solar panels. I sure hope citicorp doesn't have a black roof from now on. But I'm speculating too far ahead, we don't even know what they're doing yet.

  3. #33
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    West Harlem


    20 River Terrace has translucent solar panels.

  4. #34


    I don't think it is possible to make white solar panels. The reason that any object is white is because it reflects light rather than absorbing it. That is the opposite of what you'd want a solar panel to do.

  5. #35
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    New York City


    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenius
    I don't think it is possible to make white solar panels. The reason that any object is white is because it reflects light rather than absorbing it. That is the opposite of what you'd want a solar panel to do.
    Eugenius, You are SUCH a Genius!


    Anywho, It freaks me out to see the Citicorp Roof Like That...

    I hope they resolve this stuff sooner than later.

  6. #36


    My money is: it's gonna be a big Traveller's umbrella...Huge...

  7. #37


    Quote Originally Posted by NyC MaNiAc
    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenius
    I don't think it is possible to make white solar panels. The reason that any object is white is because it reflects light rather than absorbing it. That is the opposite of what you'd want a solar panel to do.
    Eugenius, You are SUCH a Genius!


    Anywho, It freaks me out to see the Citicorp Roof Like That...

    I hope they resolve this stuff sooner than later.
    I agree with you 100% maniac, I was also about to make the same comment about Eugenius, ops: . Guess it would've sounded old if I did it again. Also, krulltime made a great point. Imagine all the snow that must be in there! I wonder if any of the offices are having leakage problems?!

  8. #38


    It actually depresses me because i would hate to think that it is going to change :cry: but of course its going to change, why else would they do this?

  9. #39


    August 20, 2004

    Citigroup atrium reopens after alert

    Associated Press

    Morning commuters walk by the New York-based Citigroup Center on Lexington Avenue as tenants wait to pass through a security checkpoint line on Friday. Citigroup's atrium has reopened to the public for the first time since Aug. 1 when the government issed a 'high' level terror alert for specific financial buildings in New York, Washington and Northern New Jersey.

    When Ann Hemlock heard Citigroup was reopening its public atrium Friday, she bought a newspaper and rushed to her usual spot in the indoor plaza in midtown Manhattan.

    "It's my refuge," she said, taking a seat near her favorite cafe. "I've missed it."

    She was one of a small number of people who returned to Citigroup Center's atrium, which was closed to the public Aug. 2 after a government warning that it was one of five financial institutions in New York, Newark, N.J., and Washington, D.C., at high risk of a terrorist attack.

    Boston Properties, manager of Citigroup's 59-story tower, reopened the atrium's main entrance to the public at 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue at 7 a.m. after installing an X-ray machine to scan visitors' bags.

    Police who have been posted around the building since the warnings remained on guard in reduced numbers as the public trickled in.

    Store owners and managers inside the two-story atrium said they hoped the mall's reopening would improve sales in what has been an achingly slow month.

    Dennis Liberatos, the owner of Market Cafe, said he depended largely on public traffic and suffered a 65 to 70 percent drop in business since the terror warnings.

    "I had to go into my emergency money to pay the employees," Liberatos said. "We're not going to be able to survive like this." The huge street-level atrium is filled with tables and chairs and is ringed by stores and restaurants. Despite the reopening, most of those chairs sat empty Friday.

    Federal authorities announced Aug. 1 they had learned that al-Qaida wanted to attack high-profile financial targets using a car or truck bomb.

    Along with Citigroup Center, the federal government named the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank buildings in Washington, D.C., and the Prudential Financial Inc. building in Newark, N.J., as possible targets.

    The next day, building managers closed the atrium to the public, leaving building employees sole access to the stores.

    Robert E. Selsam, senior vice president of Boston Properties, said he was confident in Citigroup Center's security measures and optimistic the public would return to the atrium.

    "I don't think New Yorkers will be afraid or intimidated," he said. "Our goal is to get the place back to normal in the next several weeks." Selsam said he planned to open an additional entrance to the atrium in the next few weeks.

    Andreas Papandreou, part-owner of Cucina Gourmet, said he was worried he would have to lay off employees if the public stayed away.

    "Hopefully people will come back," he said, his cafe nearly empty Friday morning.

    Papandreou said his sales dropped nearly 80 percent during the 18-day period and he has had to assign his staff to work fewer shifts.

    The atrium's two biggest stores, Barnes & Noble and City Sports, haven't been hit as hard because they have additional street-side doors.

    Selsam said Boston Properties has decided to keep those stores' atrium-side entrances closed for now. He said he hoped to reopen their atrium-side entrances in the next few weeks.

    At least one business closed for most of the duration of the atrium's closing.

    Maria Sausa, owner of Verdict Supper Club, an upscale restaurant with seating for 75, said she filed an insurance claim for the loss of business, but worried she wouldn't be compensated since the building wasn't attacked.

    "It's rough right now," she said as her sole lunchtime customer sat at the bar.

    In recent weeks, "We opened one day and sold a cheeseburger," she said, expressing concern that an atmosphere of fear about terrorism in the city would continue to drive business away.

    But Hemlock, who's been coming to the atrium for coffee and a roll for years, said she felt safe and was glad to be back. "They're very security-conscious here," she said. "It's very nice."

    Copyright 2004, Newsday, Inc.

  10. #40
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    Hugh Stubbins Jr., 94, Creator of Emblematic Skyscrapers, Is Dead

    Published: July 11, 2006

    Hugh Stubbins Jr., an architect best known for the angular tower of the Citicorp Center in Manhattan, but also noted for his design of the Reagan Presidential Library in California and of the tallest building in Japan, died on Wednesday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 94.

    Citicorp Center in Manhattan.

    The cause was pneumonia, said his son Hugh Stubbins III of Camden, Me.

    Although considered a Modernist, Mr. Stubbins was no strict adherent to that architectural style. His design for the Reagan Library in Simi Valley evokes the stucco and red-tile roofs of the mission style.

    Citing the sleek, aluminum-sheathed Citicorp building at Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street, Paul Goldberger, the architecture critic for The New Yorker and, until recently, dean of the Parsons School of Design, called it “probably the most important skyscraper built in New York in the 1970’s because of its elegant and memorable shape, but also because of its engagement with the city at the base.”

    The sloping roof of the 914-foot-tall tower, now known as Citigroup Center, has become a symbol of the city’s skyline, Mr. Goldberger said. At its base is a large public space that is filled with stores, restaurants and room for public activity. “So it was a model for the skyscraper woven into the fabric of the city,” Mr. Goldberger said. The building, completed in 1978, was designed by Mr. Stubbins in association with Emery Roth & Sons.

    Hugh Asher Stubbins Jr. was born on Jan. 11, 1912, the son of Hugh and Lucille Stubbins of Birmingham, Ala. His father was a shoe salesman. Mr. Stubbins graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1932. A tall, trim man, he was a nationally ranked track star while in college, and an Olympic candidate until he was sidelined by a pulled hamstring. In 1935, he earned a master’s degree in architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

    Mr. Stubbins was married three times. His marriage to Diana Moore in 1938 ended in divorce in 1965. His second wife, Colette Fadeuihle, died in 1995. His third wife, June Kootz, died in 2001. In addition to his son Hugh Stubbins III, who is also an architect, Mr. Stubbins is survived two other sons, Peter, of Sausalito, Calif., and Michael, of Alexandria, Va.; a daughter, Patricia Minot of Bradenton, Fla.; and nine grandchildren.

    Mr. Stubbins and his firm, Hugh Stubbins and Associates, designed more than 800 buildings in eight countries, including many buildings on college campuses.

    After World War II, Mr. Stubbins was commissioned by the United States government to design the Berlin Congress Hall in West Germany, a theater and exhibition space that some people refer to as the “pregnant oyster” because its roof slopes between two arches. Built in view of the East German border, it was seen as a symbol of American efforts to help West Germany recover.

    Among Mr. Stubbins’s other favorite structures, his son said, was the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Boston, which opened in 1978. A 600-foot aluminum and glass tower, it is notable for its sunshades on each floor, giving the facade the appearance of a washboard, which are designed to protect the glass from glare and to alleviate the downward forces of wind at the street level.

    In 1993, Mr. Stubbins completed his last building, the Landmark Tower in Yokohama, Japan. The 60-story building, which flares at its base, is the tallest building in Japan.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  11. #41


    At least 83 when he married his third wife, and still producing major buildings at 81. Good for him!

  12. #42

    Default in a laboratory yes there are white solar cells

    I believe there is a process involving carbon doped titanium dioxide (a white pigment often used in outdoor paint) that people are using to make a chemical photocell that involves breaking water into hydrogen. It's called a Gratzel cell and described here:

    I think the problem with these cells is they work mostly in UV wavelengths, so that's why its white - the wavelengths it absorbs are invisible. A lot of effort has been in improving the efficiency by getting them to absorb more of the suns energy spectrum, in which case it may become another color.

    Also, there was discussion that, while not useful for generating electricity, a building in Harlem that will be white will use titanium dioxide photo-electron effect to be self cleaning -

  13. #43


    wallyg on Flickr
    June 17, 2007

  14. #44


    A Potentially Disastrous Design Error

    by Alan Bellows

    With its distinctive forty-five degree diagonal crown, the Citicorp building is one of the most recognizable skyscrapers on the New York City skyline. At fifty-nine stories, it's the third tallest building in midtown Manhattan, and at the time of its completion it was the seventh-tallest building in the world. At ground level, the huge skyscraper almost seems to hover above Lexington Avenue, held aloft by four massive, 114-foot-tall stilts which are located at the center of each side rather than on the corners. This unusual architecture was one of necessity– the structure had to be built around the landmark St. Peter's Church– but the design left room for a serious engineering flaw which went completely unnoticed during its construction and initial use. Had the weakness not been accidentally discovered and secretly fixed, the mighty skyscraper could have been toppled by a stiff gust of wind without any warning.

    The building's structural skeleton was designed by an engineer named William J. LeMessurier (pronounced "La Measure") in the early 1970s. Making room for the St. Peter's church was a difficult problem, but LeMessurier was a highly capable and creative engineer. His design called for the building to sit atop nine-story-tall stilts, one centered on each side with a specific geometry in the structure's framing to take maximum advantage of the oddly placed support columns. It also had a single, narrower column in the center which housed the building's elevator banks and provided additional strength to the framing. This design made room for the church under the building's northwest corner, and gave the giant structure a graceful, almost levitating effect.

    The concept as delivered by LeMessurier was quite sound, in fact it was elegant and technically brilliant. At only 25,000 tons, the steel superstructure of the building was remarkably light compared to other skyscrapers, such as the Empire State Building's 60,000 ton skeleton. Because of the stilted design and low weight, his plans also included a tuned mass damper, a 410-ton block of concrete housed in the upper floors of the building, floating on a thick film of oil and controlled by an automatic system. This substantial piece of stabilizing equipment was intended to cut the building's sway in half by converting the kinetic energy of swaying into friction.

    LeMessurier first became aware of the building's weakness in 1978, about a year after its completion. An engineering student contacted him to ask some technical questions about the design, which he was delighted to address. The student's professor had expressed doubts regarding the strength of a stilted skyscraper where the support columns were not on the corners. "Listen, I want you to tell your teacher that he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about," LeMessurier told the student, "because he doesn't know the problem that had to be solved." He went on to explain how the building's framing geometry worked perfectly with the stilts in such positions, allowing it to withstand very forceful winds, even from a diagonal angle.

    But the conversation got him thinking, and he started doing some calculations on just how much diagonal wind the structure could withstand. He was particularly interested in the effects of an engineering change made during construction which had seemed benign at the time: numerous joints were secured with bolts rather than welds. Normally such a change was acceptable, but the Citicorp Center's design was unusually sensitive to diagonal winds, which the builders hadn't realized. The results of his calculations were troubling.

    The force of wind upon a building's flat surfaces is enormous, measured in thousands or millions of pounds. Wind pushing against a tall building has a great deal of leverage against its base, but gravity does much of the work in holding a building together via compression. This makes a building secure against wind so long as the joints are strong enough to resist whatever wind force is not countered by gravity. LeMessurier worried that the bolts in the Citicorp Center's joints were insufficiently strong for the task.

    He took his calculations to fellow engineer Alan Davenport, who was an expert on the behavior of buildings in high-wind conditions. Davenport found that seventy-mile-per-hour gusts would be sufficient to break the bolts holding the joints, resulting in structural failure. Such winds were not unknown in New York, indeed storms with such strength occurred about once every sixteen years on average. Hurricane season was fast approaching, and now only two men in the world knew that Citicorp's new $175 million tower and its occupants were vulnerable to destruction by catastrophic collapse.

    Horrified, LeMessurier fled to his island hideaway on Sebago Lake to refine the findings and consider his options. Because he faced possible litigation, bankruptcy, and professional disgrace he contemplated suicide, but he was struck with the realization that he held the information to initiate extraordinary events which could save thousands of lives. The following day he started making phone calls. After speaking with corporate lawyers and consulting with Leslie Robertson– an engineer who helped design the World Trade Center– LeMessurier went to Cambridge to inform Hugh Stubbins, Jr., the building's architect. Stubbins winced when he heard the news.

    Together they flew to New York City to confront the executive officers of Citicorp with the dilemma. "I have a real problem for you, sir," LeMessurier said to Citicorp's executive vice-president, John S. Reed. The two men outlined the design flaw and described their proposed solution: to systematically reinforce all 200+ bolted joints by welding two-inch-thick steel plates over them.

    Work began immediately, and continued around the clock for three months. Welders worked all night, and carpenters labored during the day. In case of imminent disaster, an evacuation plan was put in place for the surrounding area, but the general public knew nothing of the circumstances… the press was on strike at that time, so news of the repairs did not disseminate to the populace. About halfway into the repairs Hurricane Ella formed, and it appeared to be on a collision course with Manhattan, but fortunately the storm veered out to sea rather than testing the limits of the half-repaired building. The reinforcements were completed in September of 1978, and the entire structure was re-evaluated for safety. Following the repairs, the building was found to be one of the most sturdy skyscrapers in the world. Despite the success, the crisis was kept hidden from the public for almost twenty years, until an article appeared in the New Yorker in 1995.

    As for LeMessurier, the executives at Citicorp asked no more than the $2 million his insurance policy covered, despite the fact that the repairs alone cost over $8 million. It is generally thought that his forthrightness so impressed the executives that they decided to keep their lawyers at bay. It is clear that it takes a lot of character to admit one's own mistakes, but in accepting responsibility for this flaw and then leading the repair effort, the character shown by William J. LeMessurier was nothing short of heroic.

    Unfortunately, the amount of damage caused to New York City by a falling skyscraper is now well known, but in 1978 the idea was still unthinkable. Imagine, however, if such an imposing structure had been blown over by nature itself, from a gust of wind in a storm. Had this engineering gaffe not been identified and resolved, such a catastrophic event might have become a horrifying reality.

  15. #45
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Ablarc is on the Verge (check his Post Number )

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