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. #1771
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Vornado did quite a bit more than "take advantage of the air rights" as anyone knows if they've been following their path at City Hall and City Planning through the maze of bonuses, variances, and tax breaks which have been granted for this project.

  2. #1772

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    They played the political game and won. This project has touched pretty much every agency and political committee involved in the land use process.

  3. #1773

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    ^
    Really only the mayor's office and City Council. DCP and LPC are in reality, controlled by the mayor. CBs have no power, and BPs have little since 1990.

    As fair a game as 2CC.

  4. #1774
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    It also helps that there is no groundswell of community residents out to fight it, like say the Tower Verre. If there were, you can be sure the pols would not be so receptive of this tower.

    The question I really have is why Vornado targeted the hotel and this particular site for developing this office tower.

    Couldn't they do that on the Manhattan Mall side of the block? What about the Sbarro/McDonald's block?

    The Hotel Penn is a big building. Common sense says that they should have gone after smaller buildings that are easier to demolish.
    Last edited by antinimby; September 14th, 2010 at 01:56 PM.

  5. #1775

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    AN: I think the major difference between Tower Verre and 15 Penn is residential vs commercial.

    Despite ups and downs, the residential real estate market in New York is insatiable. A residential tower is going to be built on 53rd no matter what, so city government can afford to push some populism.

    With office space, there's the threat (real and imaginary) that the company will go elsewhere.

  6. #1776

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    With smaller lots, you have to assemble. You probably have to deal with holdout owners, etc. With the Hotel, they bought one big chunk, and can build what they want on just that.

    Also, this lot is directly across 7th from Penn Station, and directly connected with it underground. For every commuter going through Penn Station, this is going to be a very attractive location. It's just a fabulous development sight.

    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
    The question I really have is why Vornado targeted the hotel and this particular site for developing this office tower.

    Couldn't they do that on the Manhattan Mall side of the block? What about the Sbarro/McDonald's block?

    The Hotel Penn is a big building. Common sense says that they should have gone after smaller buildings that are easier to demolish.

  7. #1777
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    The hotel is currently not directly connected to Penn.

  8. #1778

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    Isn't there an underground passageway (may be currently closed)?

  9. #1779

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    ^
    Yes, there is. But like the plaza bonuses, it's peanuts.

  10. #1780

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    Could be a nice little selling point to a potential tenant. You employees can get in the building from Penn in bad weather without getting their feet wet. Not a big deal, but not nothing.

  11. #1781
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Yes that is precisely how they got the zoning bonus. They will reopen and update the Penn/Herald Square tunnel.

  12. #1782

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    NY Mag
    The Ungainly Monoliths of Manhattan’s Future

    * 8/30/10 at 5:02 PM
    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/08...s_of_manh.html


    An artist's rendering of 15 Penn Plaza

    Manhattan’s skyline is about to change — not today, maybe not tomorrow, but as soon as the economy perks up, and when it does the Empire State Building will lose its splendid isolation. New York seems to have mixed feelings about this. Last week, the same City Council that stunted Jean Nouvel’s proposed MoMA Tower allowed the 1,216-foot future tower at 15 Penn Plaza to creep into competition with the icon of icons.

    But the battle over this one building’s height is a distraction from the coming cavalcade of skyscrapers. Two of the projected four World Trade Center towers are already sprouting. A 1,000-foot apartment building is going up across 57th Street from Carnegie Hall. A pair of proposed giants collectively called Manhattan West may one day loom over Ninth Avenue at 33rd Street.

    Height is not a problem — the skyline should remain as dynamic as the city, and the obvious direction for change is up. Architecturally, though, the next boom already looks disappointing. To get a sense of how the future skyline will look, check out the Bank of America tower at 1 Bryant Park, a bulky glass stele that executes a modest twist to lend itself an air of grace.

    Pelli Clarke Pelli’s uninspired design for 15 Penn Plaza is a harbinger of a bigger, beefier West Side, as office towers follow residential towers in the march toward the Hudson. These will not be the elongated masonry pyramids of the twenties, stepping back as they go up, nor will they be the modernist office towers of a generation ago, rising uniformly like vertical blocks.

    “Look at the family of new buildings that are being proposed, from the World Trade Center towers to Hudson Yards,” says Rafael Pelli, the lead architect for 15 Penn Plaza. “They are fundamentally different animals.”

    In the new business behemoths, a few indentations or judicious asymmetries set off the taut seamlessness of their skins. The top of 15 Penn Plaza will curve slightly inward as if embarrassed by its massiveness. Vertical folds in the curtain wall on each façade and at each corner resemble slits in a satin gown worn by an elephant.

    These are not so much whims of style as forms shaped by technology and the demands of the most valued tenants. Financial firms may be in moral disrepute at the moment, but they still dominate the prime office market, and they require enormous, column-free trading floors and high ceilings. Large, populous floors in turn mean a few more high-speed elevators, which get packed into a thicker concrete core. Glass walls are necessary to keep the inner cubicles from feeling sepulchral, and besides, they offset higher cooling costs with thrifty lighting systems. Quiet and efficient air-conditioning ducts take up space between floors, meaning that 80 stories need a lot more height than they once did.

    At 15 Penn Plaza, these efficiencies were added to conditions negotiated with an assortment of city agencies: extra-wide sidewalks to relieve congestion, a new pedestrian tunnel linking Sixth and Seventh Avenues, a set of freshly renovated subway exits, and plentiful retail on the lower floors — all in exchange for a huge zoning bonus in allowable floor space. These civic virtues benefit everyone who walks by or below the tower, but at the same time, the bouquet of constraints adds up to a building that is largely formed even before the architects begin designing.

    Aesthetic arguments always seem feeble against such calculations, but the unsentimental efficiency that built this city is poised to raise a crop of ungainly monoliths.

  13. #1783

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    wahhh it's not tall and skinny with lots of setbacks like 1930s new york, wahhh it's not a tall, fat box like the previous 5 decades of new york!

  14. #1784
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    First the critics will cry, philvia, and once these things are completed, the public will despair after looking at these banal monstrosities, day in and day out, year after year, until they lose the capacity to even care about their inability to govern their community in the face of demands for public subsidies by the well-to-do and well-connected.

    Daniel Patrick Moynihan once described the phenomenon of "defining deviancy down." As these buildings go up, they will become monuments to the debasement of our public institutions.
    Last edited by ttk; September 16th, 2010 at 01:19 PM.

  15. #1785
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    Quote Originally Posted by NY Mag
    Height is not a problem — the skyline should remain as dynamic as the city, and the obvious direction for change is up. Architecturally, though, the next boom already looks disappointing.
    What a cop-out. "We're not going to use what we know is a dumb argument like being afraid of tall buildings, so we'll use highly subjective arguments about design to be against tall buildings." So they think 1 Bryant Park is somewhat ok, but not 15 Penn? Laughable.

    Quote Originally Posted by NY Mag
    The top of 15 Penn Plaza will curve slightly inward as if embarrassed by its massiveness. Vertical folds in the curtain wall on each façade and at each corner resemble slits in a satin gown worn by an elephant.
    Give me a break. This magazine may sell to nimbys but there's nothing newsworthy being relayed here. It's the same poo-pooing of the new while trying to appear open to new things.

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