View Poll Results: Hotel Pennsylvania should be replaced with the proposed office building

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    76 44.97%
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    93 55.03%
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Thread: Hotel Pennsylvania - by McKim Mead & White - to be replaced by 15 Penn Plaza

  1. #1606
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Trump WT is five blocks north of the Chrysler, plus its < 900,000 sf and ~ 861' tall.

    Tall + thin.

    Penn 15 will contain ~ 2,000,000 sf and rise well over 1,000'

    Taller + thick.

    Apples or Oranges?

  2. #1607

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    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
    15 Penn Plaza is the new One New York Plaza and 55 Water Street's of Midtown. It will ruin the Midtown skyline like those boxes did to the once majestic Downtown skyline.
    You hit the worst-case scenario on its head, Antinimby. I fear you're right.

  3. #1608

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    Looks like this is moving forward according to what I read in the Daily News. It's a good looking facade but not especially noteworthy, though those ionic capitals on the ground level columns appear to be carved stone, as do the columns, the sheer scale of them compared to the pedestrians on the sidewalk below in the photos around page 12 or so is stunning. Those capitals must be about 5 or so long and must weigh a couple thousand pounds each.

    I was curious if anyone has a hi res photo of that roof-top cornice showing the details -->
    knowing McKim, Mead and White those "bumps" up there on it's vertical face surface might are terra cotta lion masks unless the cornice is sheet metal or sheet copper, hard to tell in the photos Ive sene, I'm guessing one of the salvage outfits will take those down.
    I see 4 on the right side and 4 or 5 on the left.
    Last edited by UrbanSculptures; August 26th, 2010 at 02:11 AM.

  4. #1609
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    New York, Here is Your New Skyline

    8.25.10 | Matt Chaban

    UPDATE: Council Speaker Christine Quinn, in whose district the project is located, gave her strong support for it at a press conference before today’s meeting of the City Council. More below.

    The battle for the soul of New York—or at least for its skyline—was over before it even really began. The City Council Land Use Committee just voted in favor of Vornado’s roughly 1,200-foot, Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed 15 Penn Plaza, apparently unswayed by complaints from the owner of the Empire State Building, Anthony Malkin, that it would ruin views of his iconic tower, and thus the city as a whole. In fact, the issue of the skyline barely even came up, and when it did, the council members, who voted 19-1 for the tower, essentially said New York must build to remain great. “I think it’s a project the city needs,” said Councilman Daniel Holleran, a Staten Island Republican. The bigger issue, by far, than the dueling towers was that of who would build 15 Penn Plaza, namely MWBEs.

    That’s the policy shorthand for women- and minority-owned business enterprises. The council, like the city, is majority minority, and so ensuring employment for minorities, particularly in the notoriously cosseted construction industry is often a high priority.

    When Vornado showed up at Monday’s hearings without a specific plan for how it would ensure a portion of the contractors on the project would be MWBEs, the committee members were displeased. Councilwoman Letitia James Albert Vann asked if the company even had any sort of minority hiring practices, to which the head of the New York Office, David Greenbaum, joked that he was not sure but had had a party recently at which there were many women, and his wife asked which were employs and which were spouses and he said, with a chuckle, that it was more of the former. James was not amused.

    Vornado proffered a last minute MWBE plan before today’s vote, calling for at least 15 percent of all construction work to be done by MWBEs. Whether the project would have been torpedoed without it is hard to say, but it did little to assuage council members complaints at the same time they overwhelmingly voted for the project. James Saunders, one of the council’s lions on MWBE issues, made his frustration known. “This is a tepid response to a need, a very tepid response,” he said of the new MWBE plan. “We can’t go on like this. That we even have to have this discussion shows that there needs to be some real dialogue here.” Holleran expressed disappointment that the council does not use its limited leverage over such projects to extract more concessions early on than at the very end, when development projects have essentially reached the stage of fait accompli.

    Not that it would have mattered if there was any real opposition, as the mayor cast his considerable weight behind the project yesterday, according to the Wall Street Journal [sub. req.].
    “I don’t understand that. You know, anybody that builds a building in New York City changes its skyline. We don’t have to run around to every other owner and apologize,” he said. “This is something that’s great for this city.”
    “Competition’s a wonderful thing. One guy owns a building. He’d like to have it be the only tall building,” he added. “I’m sorry that’s not the real world, nor should it be.”
    Malkin was not at today’s vote. And perhaps its was with good reason that the council did not take up his position. As our colleague Eliot Brown points out over at the Observer, the skyline fight is not that disimilar to the one over the Ground Zero “Mosque,” in that it’s a supremely local issue that has been given over to if not irrational than at least emotional pleas for something locals could care less about. After all, we’re only ruining the view from Jersey. Yet again, the debate surrounding this project was only nominally about the project at hand.

    UPDATE: When we asked Speaker Quinn about the merits of such a large, even overbuilt project—it’s 42 percent larger than current zoning allows, going from a 12 FAR to an 18 (though mind you the Empire State Building is a whopping 35, so who’s dwarfing whom exactly?)—she said she was fine with it. “I think given that this is 34th Street, 33rd Street, and 7th Avenue, one of the most commercial areas in the city of New York, this is an appropriate place for dense development.” (The project is actually located between 33rd Street and 32nd Street.)

    Quinn even went so far as to compare the unbuilt 15 Penn Plaza to many of the city’s other iconic office towers, calling it a modern day Rockefeller Center, something the city needs more of. “Our position is about Midtown business district expanding into the 21st Century,” Quinn said. “As it is, we’re not on par with some of our competitors, say London or Hong Kong. In the middle of this recession, what this say is New York is coming out of this, and coming out on top.”

    Quinn said that she was happy with the MWBE agreement that had been reached with Vornado while also stressing that such matters were not technically under the purvey of the city’s land-use review process. When we asked if they should be, Quinn demurred.
    On a less demure note, Curbed is reporting that the real reason Malkin is so opposed to 15 Penn Plaza is because it’s potentially throwing off the feng shui of his tower, killing the “life force” of the Empire State Building and thus a deal with a business from Hong Kong to lease space in the tower. And now we’ve heard everything.

    http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/archives/8621

  5. #1610
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    lofter,

    They're apples and apples to me. The point is that once built the new tower didn't ultimately interfere with the old.

  6. #1611

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    ^ Yeah, but Gehry's Beekman Tower interfered with Woolworth. It's OK, because it's such a fine object itself. But if it had been a dullard, wouldn't we be complaining?

    This Pelli building is no great shakes.

  7. #1612

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    Not only that, but when was Woolworth lower Manhattan's defining skyscraper. Just look a few pages back at lower Manhattan's skyline before the modernist boxes took over. This new skyscraper is no different, it'll destroy the skyline... its a glass box, a boring and monolithic disaster. I would take back lower Manhattan's skyline pre-modernist in a heartbeat.

  8. #1613

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    Is the design of this tower even 100% locked-in at this point? I remember during the Tower Verre wars, it was a huge deal to The Burdenizer to "shrink wrap" the design...and I didn't hear anything like that about this tower's envelope. Not that they'd really change anything, but still...

  9. #1614

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    Quote Originally Posted by arcman210 View Post
    Not only that, but when was Woolworth lower Manhattan's defining skyscraper?
    Well, up until the Deco towers took over, late Twenties.

    Anyway, I guess I was referring to the view from the Brooklyn Bridge, from which Woolworth has been largely expunged.

    Point is, the new building is an honorable substitute. Not so, Pelli/Vornado.

  10. #1615

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    Quote Originally Posted by CitiesfromSpace View Post
    Is the design of this tower even 100% locked-in at this point?
    I doubt it will improve.

  11. #1616
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CitiesfromSpace View Post
    Is the design of this tower even 100% locked-in at this point? I remember during the Tower Verre wars, it was a huge deal to The Burdenizer to "shrink wrap" the design...and I didn't hear anything like that about this tower's envelope. Not that they'd really change anything, but still...
    Nothing found in the City Planning Reports for 15 Penn have any sort of language locking in the design that we've seen (whereas the Torre Verre CP docs stipulate that the CPC OK given there was specific to the Nouvel design and the changes mandated by CPC).

  12. #1617
    Forum Veteran Daquan13's Avatar
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    The Empire State Building today lost its bid to try to stop the tower from being built, paving the way for the developer, Vornado, to move on and procede with plans to erect the tower.
    Last edited by Daquan13; September 27th, 2010 at 09:16 PM.

  13. #1618
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    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanSculptures View Post
    Looks like this is moving forward according to what I read in the Daily News. It's a good looking facade but not especially noteworthy, though those ionic capitals on the ground level columns appear to be carved stone, as do the columns, the sheer scale of them compared to the pedestrians on the sidewalk below in the photos around page 12 or so is stunning. Those capitals must be about 5 or so long and must weigh a couple thousand pounds each.

    I was curious if anyone has a hi res photo of that roof-top cornice showing the details -->
    knowing McKim, Mead and White those "bumps" up there on it's vertical face surface might are terra cotta lion masks unless the cornice is sheet metal or sheet copper, hard to tell in the photos Ive sene, I'm guessing one of the salvage outfits will take those down.
    I see 4 on the right side and 4 or 5 on the left.
    Here is a bigger pic:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3182/...1d5a11da_o.jpg

  14. #1619

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    knowing McKim, Mead and White those "bumps" up there on it's vertical face surface might are terra cotta lion masks unless the cornice is sheet metal or sheet copper,
    Went to take the pics for you (with a 500mm lens- very revealing), but forgot my tripod so they came out blurry- will go again tomorrow...
    I can tell you however, they are not lion heads (unless your referring to the parts that are behind the netting-which I couldn't see through), they are small medallions - two different styles.
    Through the lens I was also able to see that there is a lot of damage to the stone work up top- a lot of pieces have broken off- it's a crime to have let this building slide into such a state of decay.

  15. #1620

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    You guys really need to get over it. It will be built and its a fabulous addition to the skyline.

    It's so funny how I didn't hear a peep on this forum about this building allegedly ruining the NYC skyline until the NIMBYs complained about a week ago. Not a single peep...just moaning over the loss of that crappy Hotel Pennsylvania. Now it's all about the skyline! LOL. What changed? My how the discussion has turned.

    In any case, this building carries on the NYC can do spirit. New York City will always remain the capital of capitalism, prosperity and wealth. And to keep its status, the city needs to progress. And remember, the Empire State Building was also an "eyesore" and a view-killing monstrosity when it was constructed (as were the now beloved World Trade Centers ).

    Some of you are really reaching with the "box" parallel, this building isn't a box. Blind rage, perhaps? It's far from a box, it's Pelli's signature tower....look at the International Financial Centre in Hong Kong, for instance. IMO, 15 Penn Plaza will be a tremendous addition to this city.

    I'm so going to break out a glass of champagne the day filthy ratty Hotel Pennsylvania is razed.

    God, I love New York.
    Last edited by JFK-CDG; August 26th, 2010 at 10:23 PM.

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