View Poll Results: Rate and comment on Lever House

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  • 10

    13 35.14%
  • 9

    8 21.62%
  • 8

    10 27.03%
  • 7

    2 5.41%
  • 6

    2 5.41%
  • 5

    1 2.70%
  • 4

    0 0%
  • 3

    1 2.70%
  • 2

    0 0%
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Thread: Lever House - 400 Park Avenue @ East 52nd Street - by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

  1. #16
    http://tinyurl.com/2ag28z Front_Porch's Avatar
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    I love it; it makes me feel clean .

    Which, since it was built to house soap-makers, is probably the point.

    But the last time I walked it through it (a month ago mebbe?) there was some kind of art installation on the ceiling of the base -- is that still there? anybody feel like wielding a camera?

    ali r.
    {downtown broker}

  2. #17
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
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    You mean the ceiling art? Its gone now.

  3. #18
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Question

    What about the creepy statue of the woman getting surgery?

  4. #19

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    She's still being operated on. Hopefully they can save the baby.

    unjendefille on Flickr
    October 19, 2007

    Last edited by BigMac; October 21st, 2007 at 10:50 PM.

  5. #20

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    8/10. Probably the first skyscraper made out of glass in a business district. All previous tall buildings constructed were made out of masonry.

  6. #21
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Lever House presents an extended view of the 21' tall bronze "Hello Kitty Wind Up Sculpture" by Tom Sachs ...







    Lever House - 390 Park Avenue

  7. #22
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    Better suited for the Mall of America.

  8. #23

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    Or Melted down...

  9. #24
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Yes, I wish they would get rid of the retarded "kitty" and bring back the dissected woman, which I use to love seeing while passing through. There are several of these stupid white kitten things scattered around the base of the building, each one is more idiotic than the last.

  10. #25
    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
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    Yep, I'd rate Lever House right up there as would most of us.

    On a related note, allow me to cite an outstanding and overlooked masterpiece in the same style: Phoenix Mutual headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut. In my book, it's as beautiful as Lever House and features a spectacular choice of glass. This building looks as fresh and modern today as it did in the early 1960s. A classic.

  11. #26
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    I totally agree. This building is a treasure.

  12. #27
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    At Lever House, Public Is Always Welcome. Except This Sunday.

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP



    Any day is a fine day for visiting the garden courtyard of Lever House at 390 Park Avenue, that midcentury Modernist “Mad Men” masterpiece that was beautifully rejuvenated a decade ago. Any day, that is, but one.

    In a practice going back to 1953 and a custom that can be traced to Anglo-Saxon England, RFR Realty, the owner of Lever House, will close the garden courtyard, arcade and interior sidewalks at Lever House, between 53rd and 54th Streets, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

    New Yorkers have quickly acquainted themselves with the concept of privately owned public space at Zuccotti Park. But there is another important hybrid: purely private space to which the public is customarily welcome, at the owners’ implicit discretion. These spaces include Lever House, Rockefeller Plaza and College Walk at Columbia University, all of which close for part of one day every year.

    Shubert Alley once fell into this category but has since been designated a privately owned public space. The Shubert Organization continues to close it once each year.

    Property markers, like this plaque set into the pavement at Lever House, are a frequent giveaway that one is about to set foot on someone else’s land:



    Owners close these properties annually to protect themselves against any possible claim of “adverse possession,” a concept with ancient roots. It holds — to put it simply — that if someone openly and notoriously uses another’s property for a long period of time without ever being challenged by the rightful owner, the property becomes that of the possessor. Think of a farmer using an out-of-the-way corner of his neighbor’s acreage to pasture his own sheep for a generation or two, without the neighbor ever raising an objection.

    Annual closings are how modern owners assert their dominion. (As opposed, say, to killing someone else’s sheep, or hauling them up before the folkmoot assembly.)


    In 1953, the Lever House closing
    was news in The New York Times.

    Lever House has been closing itself once a year since 1953, when it was the brand new headquarters of Lever Brothers. On Sunday, temporary barricades are to be erected, bearing signs saying: “This area is closed to public use on behalf of and in the name of the owner.” Some time later, an employee who was present will sign an affidavit attesting to the closing.

    Now, the hurdles to prove adverse possession are very high. It seems inconceivable that Park Avenue passers-by could ever make a claim that they are the actual owners of Lever House’s courtyard. Among other things, the owner has to have let the adverse possession go unchallenged for 10 years. (Brookfield Office Properties, take note.)

    One wonders why owners even bother to go through the ritual. “I don’t want to call it a vestige of the past — because it’s still done — but it does have a quaintness to it,” acknowledged Prof. Jerold S. Kayden, director of the urban planning program at Harvard, and arguably the nation’s leading authority on privately owned public space.

    Still, Professor Kayden said, the affidavit that RFR Realty produces each year would be useful evidence if an adverse possession claim were ever filed, since it demonstrated that the owner had “clearly and unambiguously” asserted its control.

    “One could refer to it as a quaint customary action that is meant to illustrate that it’s my property, not yours,” he said.



    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...t-this-sunday/

  13. #28
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    I guess this buiding gets a lot of kudos for being one of the 1st of its kind. The problem is that its kind is devoid of much human imagination. Thus its a retrograde representation of achitectural design. It represents a progressive movement in building technology but it paved the way to a devolution in design creativity.

    As much as I try to appreciate its virtues of progression I cannot help the primary feeling I have when I look at it: The begging of the end.

  14. #29
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    We have a thread on this topic:

    NYC Property Line Demarcation - Revocable Right to Pass

    Quote Originally Posted by Merry View Post

    At Lever House, Public Is Always Welcome. Except This Sunday.


    Property markers, like this plaque set into the pavement at Lever House,
    are a frequent giveaway that one is about to set foot on someone else’s land:



  15. #30

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    I should have posted this a couple of months ago...my bad.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    I used to work in LH and I certainly concur with the consensus here. The building is a masterpiece.

    Next time anyone passes it, check out how the pavement under the structure has a pattern that is followed into the building itself, interrupted only by the enormous glass walls of the lobby...a neat detail.

    P.S. As an aside, if someone could correct the address on this thread it would be greatly appreciated...390 Park between 53 and 54.
    P.P.S. The falafel cart in the pic is really good.
    Last edited by DarrylStrawberry; June 13th, 2012 at 10:51 PM.

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