View Poll Results: Do you like the final design of Beekman Place?

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    150 85.71%
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Thread: 8 Spruce Street - Beekman Tower - by Frank Gehry

  1. #4606


    Well stated.

  2. #4607

  3. #4608


    uno más:

    My Photostream:
    Last edited by JSsocal; January 23rd, 2011 at 01:00 PM.

  4. #4609


    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
    Manhattan without skyscrapers = Staten Island.
    Manhattan without skyscrapers = The Villages. Even so, they are some of the most vibrant urban areas on earth, while Staten Island is still, well... Staten Island. Let me know when they get a subway connection to the rest of the city, then we may begin to reassess the situation.

  5. #4610
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    The NY Times, following the lead of their theater critic doing a "before it really opens" review of Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark on Monday, now lets Ourroussoff review Gehry's tower while the lift is still up and before it's complete (and he's in such a rush to let us know what he thinks that he bungles some basic facts about NYC) ...

    Downtown Skyscraper for the Digital Age


    February 9, 2011


    Many New Yorkers have been following the construction of the new residential tower at 8 Spruce Street, just south of City Hall, with a mix of awe and trepidation.

    Frank Gehry, the building’s architect, has had a rough time in this city. His first commission here, years ago, was for an Upper East Side town house that was never built; his client, an oil heiress, fired him over Champagne and strawberries. A more recent foray, the massive Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn, drew the ire of local activists, who depicted him as an aging liberal in bed with the devil — a New York City real estate developer.

    The Spruce Street project (formerly called Beekman Tower) would not only be Mr. Gehry’s first skyscraper, but it was also being built for the same developer, Bruce Ratner. And as the tallest luxury residential tower in the city’s history, it seemed to epitomize the skyline’s transformation from a symbol of American commerce to a display of individual wealth.

    Only now, as the building nears completion, is it possible to appreciate what Mr. Gehry has accomplished: the finest skyscraper to rise in New York since Eero Saarinen’s CBS building went up 46 years ago. And like that tower, and Philip Johnson’s AT&T (now Sony) building after it, 8 Spruce Street seems to crystallize a particular moment in cultural history, in this case the turning point from the modern to the digital age.

    The tower, 76 stories high and clad in a rumpled stainless-steel skin, stands at the northern edge of the financial district on a tight lot hemmed in by one-way streets. The Pace University building, a wide, Brutalist-style structure completed in 1970, cuts it off from the rest of the city to the north; just beyond are the spaghettilike access ramps of the Brooklyn Bridge. To the east, across City Hall Park, are two early landmarks of skyscraper design, Cass Gilbert’s 1913 Woolworth building and McKim, Mead & White’s 1912 Municipal building ...


  6. #4611
    I admit I have a problem
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    North Koreatown


    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 quoting Ouroussoff View Post
    the finest skyscraper to rise in New York since Eero Saarinen’s CBS building went up 46 years ago.
    I've never understood why critics love CBS Black Rock so much. I think it's forbidding, with little of the grace that you can see Saarinen's other work.

    (Off topic, I know.)
    Last edited by 212; February 10th, 2011 at 10:26 AM. Reason: added links

  7. #4612


    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    Only now, as the building nears completion, is it possible to appreciate what Mr. Gehry has accomplished: the finest skyscraper to rise in New York since Eero Saarinen’s CBS building went up 46 years ago.

    Any takers on contradicting that statement by Ourousoff? (if you accept Black Rock's completion as a benchmark date) It's certainly not hard to argue when you look at JSsocal's picture above, but I think when taken in context of the whole of Manhattan, it may be a little harder to defend.

    Hearst? NYT? Conde Nast? Time Warner? Citigroup? Sony? 15 CPW?

  8. #4613
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Far West Village, NYC


    ^ I don't accept Black Rock as any kind of benchmark with regard to NY's finest towers... Beekman is miles better. But is it the finest since the start of the modern era of skyscraper design (1950s)? Citigroup has a more powerful & iconic presence. BofA is becoming an icon (getting lots of exposure from nightly-news live cams to feature films, being prominent on the skyline from both ESB & 30 Rock), and I think it's crystalline shape is pretty impressive - particularly at night . Another favorite is 15 CPW, a throwback to my favorite era of skyscraper design (1920s).

    Like has been said above, Gehry's building represents a compromise (flat side). From many angles it is extraordinary. Without the flat side, I could see it contending for the finest tower of the Post War era. With the flat side it still probably makes the Top 10.

    By the way, that 2 minute video posted above by Derek really is great - the best shots may be the ones that don't even feature the new Bleekman building:
    Last edited by RandySavage; February 10th, 2011 at 04:19 PM.

  9. #4614


    Black Rock was just one step above the equally bland, yet slightly less refined 6th Avenue towers of the same period. Sure, the facade treatment and especially materiality are nice, but the overall composition is not drastically different from, say, the XYZ buildings. A plain, vertically striped office hunk fronted by a somewhat forbidding plaza.

  10. #4615
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Oct 2002


    Gehry's $875 Million Tower Ripples Over Lower Manhattan

    By James S. Russell

    At 8 Spruce Street, just east of City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan, I stared up at a 76-story wall of stainless-steel panels and bay windows that rippled and curled like a zipper run amok.

    No mysterious force sideswiped the walls. Los Angeles Architect Frank Gehry, 81, designed the 903-unit rental apartment building that way. At 870 feet, it is by a nose New York’s tallest residential building.

    Developer Forest City Ratner Cos., notorious for the controversial Atlantic Yards megaproject (where Gehry was once the architect), will start signing leases this month on the first completed apartments. The topmost apartments won’t be ready until 2012.

    In contrast to the dumb, boxy towers clad in murky glass that have defaced New York City’s skyline during the past decade, Gehry has produced a gawky beauty that captures the open-ended energy of the city. It fascinates rather than ravishes.

    I moved a good distance back, gazing at that glittering rumpled surface from the Brooklyn Bridge. In the stretched wedding-cake profile I see a bit of Rockefeller Center romance struggling to get out. Gehry slims the tower so that it frames the surroundings rather than obliterating them.

    The building is most powerful close up, where its draping creases evoke veins pulsing beneath the smooth surface -- a cockeyed echo of nearby 19th-century facades covered with pistoning columns and muscular cornice brackets. The surface has a willful strangeness in the mold of the Barcelona mystic Antoni Gaudi.

    School of Blandness

    The tower rises from a chunky new five-story orange-brick public elementary school of utter blandness that deserved more architectural energy. It will open next fall.

    The school was part of a complex development deal orchestrated by the New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Gehry designed and Forest City Ratner built the shell of the school. The architect Swanke Hayden Connell is fitting out the $65 million interior.

    The great height is thanks to air rights sold by the adjacent Downtown Hospital.

    The tower was financed when markets were crashing and at one time it looked as if it would rise only 38 stories. Its $875 million cost benefited from $204 million in government-backed post-9/11 Liberty Bonds.

    I had feared the building’s great size would cast the surrounding streets into gloom. Yet a recent late-afternoon visit revealed that the reflective surface and deep setbacks draw light in. Two small tree-shaded plazas will bring patches of desperately needed greenery.

    Bay Windows

    Though the rippling exterior suggests apartments laid out in lava-lamp blobs, you mostly get a familiar functionality. (Gehry’s firm laid out the units, which is both fortunate and a rarity. Almost every developer hires from a triumvirate of specialist local firms that favor inexplicable mazelike plans or highway-hotel dreariness.)

    The plans, ranging from studios (lower floors start at $2,600 monthly) to two-bedroom units (from $5,895), are unpretentiously appointed and gracious if not spacious. The exterior curves scallop the rooms, which loosens them up pleasingly. Some of the large glass expanses kink in and some kink out to form bay windows, one of the great architectural inventions almost never used in New York.

    There’s plenty of city on view: the Gothic extravagance of the Woolworth Building, the gold-statued grandeur of the Municipal Building, an assortment of East River bridges, and your choice of Lower Manhattan or Midtown skylines.

    No Balcony

    The high units are more generous but you won’t find the hangar-sized living rooms and pools set into outdoor terraces of late-boom condos. You won’t even get a balcony. Prices at this level have yet to be set but $15,000 isn’t unlikely.

    Self-appointed style cops decry Gehry’s fanciful architecture as the gaudy emblem of the last decade’s excess. Yet nothing about this tower is gratuitous. It shows how to put a very large building into a heavily built-up city.

  11. #4616


    Quote Originally Posted by LeCom View Post
    Black Rock ... A plain, vertically striped office hunk.
    Hunk indeed.

    A hunk in Armani.

    Knows how to wear a pinstripe.

  12. #4617
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    To further digress: One problem at Black Rock is the way they've treated the sunken plaza, which is designed to be separate and austere. Now there are humongous wooden tubs, each sprouting a sorry looking tree (especially sad looking this time of year), all pushed up against the perimeter along Sixth Avenue and the side streets. The moat effect is negated. And the eastern side of the sunken plaza, up against the street level plaza on the west side of the post modern tower at 40 W 53rd / 31 W 52nd (Roche / Dinkaloo; 1986), is now used as storage for the China Grill restaurant. The blue tarps used to cover stuff there is really trashy.

  13. #4618
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Nairobi Hilton


    The tubs are there as 'security'.

  14. #4619
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    But the tubs are all pushed up against the perimeter retaining wall at the outer edge of the plaza (at least that's where they were yesterday). Wouldn't be surprised if the nooks and crannies between them are occupied by urban campers.

    Back to 8 Spruce: Anyone know when the plaza there is set to be completed?

  15. #4620


    Now Open(With a name change)

    Frank Gehry's 76-Story Tower Now Renting at $2,630 and Up

    Monday, February 14, 2011, by Joey Arak

    The raves are in and now it's time for the renting to begin! Frank Gehry's 76-story tower of rippling steel at 8 Spruce Street, referred to by some as the best new New York City skyscraper in decades but officially being marketed as "the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere," is open for business. Formerly the Beekman Tower, now New York by Gehry, the 870' tall building has a 37th floor rental gallery and 18 studio, one- and two-bedroom model apartments on view by appointment only. Call 212-877-2220 to be one of the first to check out those bay windows in the City Hall region's new steel-clad slab of starchitecture. Citi Habitats Marketing Group and Nancy Packes, Inc. are leading the leasing and marketing.
    The building has 903 total apartments that start on the seventh floor, and over 200 layouts to choose from. Rents start at $2,630 for studios, $3,580 for one-bedrooms and $5,945 for two-bedrooms. Much has been made of the building's shape and the involvement of the legendary architect, but what can tenants expect once they've moved into the place, other than those views? Lots of fun in the Lower Manhattan sun.
    All the goods on what's going on inside Gehry's playhouse. >>

    Here's the amenities rundown:
    Residents of New York by Gehry will have exclusive access to a 24-hour doorman, a porte cochère for vehicles, a full-service concierge, and 22,000 square feet of health, wellness, social, and entertainment amenity spaces. A 6th floor Grilling Terrace with stunning views of the Woolworth building is outfitted with dining cabanas, picnic tables and café seating. The adjacent Game Room is furnished with custom seating by Frank Gehry. On the 7th floor, a 50-foot swimming pool in a sky-lit space is surrounded by fully-retracting glass doors, creating a seamless expanse of indoor and outdoor spaces that includes a wraparound sundeck.
    Overlooking City Hall Park to the north, a large Drawing Room with a grand piano is adjacent to a Private Dining Room. Both can be reserved for resident events and serviced from a Chef’s Demonstration and Catering Kitchen. A Spa Treatment Suite and state-of-the-art Fitness Center with views of the Brooklyn Bridge are located on the 7th floor. The 8th floor offers Group Fitness, Pilates and Private Training Studios as well as a Library, a Tweens' Den, a Children’s Playroom, and a Screening Room with Gehry-designed amphitheatre seating.
    Yep, NYC now has what must be the world's first Frank Gehry-designed Tweens' Den. Surely that must impress Donald Trump! For those already out their doors to get a peek inside the Beek, send your early impressions to
    · New York by Gehry [Official Site]
    · Beekman Tower coverage [Curbed]

    All this with a library & a grilling terrace. Very cool!
    Last edited by mariab; February 14th, 2011 at 04:47 PM.

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