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Thread: New York in Black and White

  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by TREPYE View Post
    ^^..... and architects had a little more dignity in their products.
    Besides that, it's also demand for large floor plates combined with zoning's FAR requirements. That yields squat, fat buildings that mostly rise to a plateau.

  2. #17
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    Besides that, it's also demand for large floor plates combined with zoning's FAR requirements. That yields squat, fat buildings that mostly rise to a plateau.
    They could have accomplished this by building taller not fatter.

  3. #18

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    Taller means more floors. More floors means smaller floors for the same square footage.

    If you want big floor plates you build fat.

    If you limit the total square footage with FAR, it also means short. That's what FAR is all about.

  4. #19
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    I knew that ablarc. I was just being facetious, as per the smiley faces next to my statement.

  5. #20

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    ^ Sorry. I apologize.

  6. #21

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    one word: thanks.

  7. #22

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    Thanks. I got to say if New York was preserved in amber after 1945, we'd have one of, if not the most beautiful city on the planet. If only modern architecture could be built with the same vigor as its predecessors.

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
    I got to say if New York was preserved in amber after 1945, we'd have one of, if not the most beautiful city on the planet. If only modern architecture could be built with the same vigor as its predecessors.
    I get your point, but you know with the recent improvements in public squares (Bryant Park, Union Square, Times Square, Columbus Circle), the much cleaner streets, the gradual elimination of parking lots and the proliferation of small parks, you could say we still have one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. The new buildings may not be as good on the whole, but the public realm has been enhanced, I believe.

  9. #24

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    Just spent half an hour taking in all the goodness, while sipping tea and listening to some good music.

  10. #25
    Senior Member Capn_Birdseye's Avatar
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    What a great collection of pics!! Thanks.

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
    Thanks. I got to say if New York was preserved in amber after 1945, we'd have one of, if not the most beautiful city on the planet. If only modern architecture could be built with the same vigor as its predecessors.
    Oh, I think there's plenty of vigor, but it's misplaced; when iconic it's often directed at making arbitrary and irrational sculptural shapes (BofA, IAC, Westin, even Hearst), rather than at enhancing expressively the shapes that buildings naturally assume (ESB, Savoy-Plaza).

  12. #27
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    Preach on, Brother Ablarc ...
    BTW, everyone here should check out Ablarc's "streetwalls of Paris" at http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=16869

    Question for you. Assuming that we want ...

    - human scale and visual interest at street level
    - a mountain range of a skyline, as we had half a century ago
    - and also the big floor plates that so many of a world-class city's office tenants demand today

    ... how can architects and planners best respond? You've made convincing arguments about what worked in the Paris of 1880 and the NYC of 1940. Are there any recent urbanistic success stories for world-class cities that came about through planning? Links you can recommend?

    I'm sensing that the answer involves
    - some loosening of zoning regs, especially on height and mixed uses
    - paired with very aggressive landmarking of existing buildings
    - and hoping for some technological advances to make supertalls more economical here ...

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by 212 View Post
    I'm sensing that the answer involves
    - some loosening of zoning regs, especially on height and mixed uses
    - paired with very aggressive landmarking of existing buildings
    - and hoping for some technological advances to make supertalls more economical here ...
    Wow, the quality of that list is A-1. The last one is perhaps the hardest to achieve because building codes have grown prescriptive enough to squelch innovation. So much is described in those weighty tomes that we have pretty muc arrived at a point where everything is illegal except what is specifically allowed.

    The second will be unpopular with myopic developers who haven't figured out its benefits in the big system.

    Most folks and all NIMBYs think tighter zoning is the only thing standing between us and utter chaos. What they don't realize is that in many places (not New York) the zoning is in fact a guarantor of that chaos.

  14. #29
    The Dude Abides
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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post












    Greeted by the craggy, majestic Andes. Now it's Table Mountain.
    I think it actually looks pretty good in this picture:



    Josh Derr's photostream

  15. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    I think it actually looks pretty good in this picture
    Yup.

    Photographer up high, positioned so old slender towers dominate silhouette's crest, dusk obscures foreground's fat-ass banality.

    There are photographers who could make Dick Cheney look virtuous.

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