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Thread: Atelier Condominium - 635 West 42nd Street - Condo - by Costas Kondylis

  1. #76
    Forum Veteran macreator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby
    I'm just surprised that in 2006, these f****n New York design firms still don't know this.
    The other question is, Do these New York design firms not know this....or do the developers simply not care?

  2. #77
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Well, it certainly is frustrating to see streetlife deteriorate because of it.
    This stretch of 42nd is a very boring walk, and planning should have allowed for interesting street retail and entertainment to extend all the way to the river, creating a dynamic promenade to the water.
    As it is, most pedestrians and tourists don't even bother walking down that way.

  3. #78

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    How much does zoning have to do with it? Mandatory setbacks and all that.

  4. #79
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macreator
    The other question is, Do these New York design firms not know this....or do the developers simply not care?
    I don't think it's because they don't care. It's natural for people to want to have the best environment for their properties. Believe it or not, I really think it's ignorance and just plain lack of vision, creativity, skill and/or awareness.

    The other problem, and I've said it before elsewhere, is the zoning. In order to build higher, you need a large footprint. So now, you've got a building with a base that takes up half a block or sometimes even more. That is moving away from the New York model of closely spaced together highrises and more towards suburban office park-like settings, where there is a lot of space between each building.

    Mistakenly and unknowingly, most people tend to associate this pedestrian-unfriendliness with highrise construction, when in fact, it isn't the highrises themselves. Again, if the bases are done right, the highrise portion could be 1000 feet and it wouldn't hurt the streetlife one bit. Conversely, if you have an unfriendly base, the building could be 3 stories and it would stay unfriendly. Do you see what I mean?

    If anything else, a higher density of buildings will give you that more vibrant feel. Just look at other Midtown areas and notice how closely packed the towers are and how busy the streets there are.

    The other explanation for this stretch of 42nd St. is that it was never really that vibrant to begin with. There's no subway access (although that's coming) and generally no reason for anyone to go there. I'm sure that as the population increases, the services (shops, stores, restaurants, etc.) will follow and the character of the neighborhood will change as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by MidtownGuy
    Well, it certainly is frustrating to see streetlife deteriorate because of it.
    This stretch of 42nd is a very boring walk, and planning should have allowed for interesting street retail and entertainment to extend all the way to the river, creating a dynamic promenade to the water.
    As it is, most pedestrians and tourists don't even bother walking down that way.
    Believe it or not, NIMBY community groups like this area to be quiet and crowd-free the way it is. They wouldn't want it any busier than it is now.
    Last edited by antinimby; April 3rd, 2006 at 01:29 AM.

  5. #80
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Well, those last statements about the area being quiet and crowd-free is not exactly true ...

    With the Circle Line, the Intrepid, the Cruise Lines, Hudson River Park and the various exhibitions at the Piers as draws this area gets quite busy -- and has for years. And the stretch of 42nd from the River to Times Square is only getting busier.

    Hopefully the new buildings will add something positive to that experience.

    But the empty street-level commercial space (horribly designed) in the River Place doesn't bode well.

  6. #81
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    Well, those last statements about the area being quiet and crowd-free is not exactly true ...
    No, it is true. People are going through the area and not necessarily to the area in order to get to those destinations on the river front you mentioned. There's a lot of vehicle traffic but not as much pedestrians.

  7. #82

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    Good posts. I agree it has nothing to do with height but with poor design...poor vision...and low expectations all around. 42nd street at this end couldīve been a great promenade down to the river. Chicago? Do residential towers get this bad in Chicago? Cheap brick...those awfull floor plates.... these arenīt good buildings. Look how much nicer the buildings at Battery Park city look compared to these. But there the developers have to work under design guidlines.

  8. #83

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    42nd development was affectedby the timeline. Riverplace was so far away from anything when it was built - no victory, zebra builing, ivy tower, etc, and it's still secluded now. it made sense to build it like it is.

    apart from the theatres, most of the retail/commericial are services for the residents since this is a residential area - gyms, starbucks, cvs, etc. there will be plenty more foot traffic once the area is built out, but its going to be residential with services to match. a lot of the foot traffic from tourists is to park on hudson and the attractions on the river, but its not overwhelming. but its enough to bring food stands on 10th, 11th, and west side highway.

  9. #84

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    It´s a lesson in planning for the future. The area needed/needs a grand design. And in the end, a good design plan would only add to the value of the properties... done not so much for tourism, but to create a great new NY neighborhood. This IS 42nd street after all.... an important street that includes the NY Public Library, The Chrysler Building, the Ford Foundation, Grand Central, the New Amsterdam, the Mc Grawhill etc..... and then you get to this end and you´ve got the Zebra building. Tsk.tsk.
    Last edited by Fabrizio; April 3rd, 2006 at 11:17 AM.

  10. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio
    Itīs a lesson in planning for the future. The area needed/needs a grand design. And in the end, a good design plan would only add to the value of the properties... done not so much for tourism, but to create a great new NY neighborhood.
    ...assuming of course that the planners are up to the task. The last two new neighborhoods we got were Battery Park City and Trump's project on the West Side.

    Great?

  11. #86

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    I canīt judge the Trump development. Battery Park City? Not yet great, but very very good.

  12. #87

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    grand plans influenced by the government are usually failures, or inefficient. while far west 42nd was being developed, the government was concentrating on west 34th and WTC, and virtually nothing has been done on those grand plans.

    times square was a success, but it only happened after 30 years of repeated false starts and utter failures, and in reality, was pushed along by many economic forces, just as much in spite of the government effort, and not because of it.

  13. #88

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    "grand plans influenced by the government are usually failures"

    You mean like Central Park, Prospect Park, and Battery Park City.... to name a few?

  14. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio
    "grand plans influenced by the government are usually failures"

    You mean like Central Park, Prospect Park, and Battery Park City.... to name a few?
    the 2 parks were just huge projects. and BPC was created from thin air. yes, they were very successful.

    i should have been more specific - i'm speaking of the government acting as a catalyst to bring multiple parties with various, often competing interests, together to create something great on a large scale.

  15. #90
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Yeah, it get's pretty tiresome to hear people bash the involvement of government in "grand plans", but every day those same people are enjoying the grand things built in the past.

    The point about the East end vs. the West end of 42nd was a good one- The developments along the westernmost portion look terrible, inexcusable for one of the city's major thoroughfares.

    CVS and Starbucks don't sound like the beginning of a stellar NY neighborhood to me. Sounds like more cookie-cutter, "built-on-the-cheap/rented for too much" CRAP.

    Please, can some extraterrestrials swoop down and deposit a sidewalk cafe with some begonias in the middle of this sterile lunarscape? A bench with a tree next to it? SOMETHING friendly to humans?

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