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Thread: Superior Ink Condominiums - 469 West Street - by Robert A. M. Stern

  1. #61
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    How dare you ^ venture out without a camera!

    Meanwhile, a great story from across the street at Westbest ...

    Down a Tall Chimney, and Out of It Alive


    Grace Bergere

    NEW YORK TIMES
    By CHRISTINE HAUSER
    August 2, 2008

    The emergency call came in late on Thursday, a brief but urgent message from a building in the West Village: “Female fell down air shaft.”

    Firefighters raced to the Westbeth building, a rambling artists’ complex on West Street. They were told the victim had fallen about 180 feet down a chimney.

    And so they braced for the worst when they went to open a small steel door at the bottom of the chimney. But when Lt. Simon Ressner poked his fingers through a crack in the door, a small hand popped out from the other side.

    “I just jumped back,” Lieutenant Ressner said at a news briefing on Friday. “I wasn’t expecting anybody alive at the bottom of the shaft, so I was shocked.”

    When firefighters broke open the steel door, the blackened figure of a girl peered back at them from a deep mound of soot.

    “She was completely black,” Lieutenant Ressner said. “The only part we could see was her eyes and her mouth.”

    “I think she probably went down head first and landed on her back,” he added.

    The girl, later identified by friends and neighbors as Grace Bergere, 12, was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center. A hospital spokeswoman, Minerva Joubert, said Grace was in fair condition on Friday. A family friend who did not want to be identified but was asked to speak to a reporter on behalf of Grace’s father, Steve Berger, 52, a musician, said Grace had a dislocated hip and possible fractures.

    “She is talking, she is smiling,” the family friend said in a telephone interview. “She fell in over her head into the soot, and she crawled her way up so she could breathe.”

    The story had all the hallmarks of a tale of urban drama: a historic high-rise; a breathtaking fall; an injured child curled up in a bed of soot that had cushioned her fall; and hardened rescuers who can still be shocked by the resilience of life.

    Lieutenant Ressner and others told the story of the rescue, reported in The New York Post on Friday, at their firehouse in Chelsea. Like other firehouses in New York City, the home to Engine Company 3 and Ladder 12 is adorned with memorials to their comrades killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

    But as Grace’s ordeal showed, there is still the potential for tales of survival that surprise firefighters accustomed to the worst.

    “I have had people fall from the third floor that were fatally injured,” Lieutenant Ressner said.

    “I think she was in shock,” he added. “I think she didn’t actually realize how lucky she was.”

    The emergency call came in about 10:30 p.m. When Lieutenant Ressner’s unit reached the building, home to an artists’ community on the site of the former Bell Telephone Laboratories, they went into a service entrance on Bethune Street, then tried to locate which of the building’s several chimneys she fell through.

    The chimney rises about 13 stories to the roof and then about two dozen feet above it, with a ladder to the opening of about five square feet, Lieutenant Ressner said. Grace, who was on the roof with a teenage cousin, climbed the ladder, Mr. Berger said in a telephone interview, then apparently fell in.

    Mr. Berger said Grace told him that after she fell, she thought she had died. She experienced a fade-out when she hit bottom, “like in a movie,” Mr. Berger said, “snowy white to black.”

    “She felt a surge, then she heard me screaming her name,” said Mr. Berger, who first went up to the roof but then was brought down to the base of the chimney, where the firefighters were.

    Lieutenant Ressner said he did not think there were any features inside the brick chimney to slow Grace’s fall to the bottom, which was carpeted with several feet of ash and soot. “I don’t think anything broke her fall because we did not find her with any scrapes,” he said.

    A superintendent helped the firefighters locate the door at the chimney’s base. When it was opened, the first person Grace spoke to was Firefighter John Taliercio. “She was sitting down with her knees up,” he said. “She was sitting there like waiting for us. The first thing she said to me was, ‘I broke my leg.’ ”

    “We did not expect to see anything living in there,” said Firefighter David Wisniewski, who was next to Firefighter Taliercio at the rescue scene. “We just saw a black figure in there covered in soot.”

    They washed her mouth and nose, gave her oxygen and put a neck brace on her.

    “I told her, ‘You are going to be all right,’ ” Firefighter Taliercio said. “ ‘We are going to get you safe.’ ”

    Al Baker, Jason Grant and Mathew R. Warren contributed reporting.

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

    ***

    Perhaps young Ms. Bergere's athleticism helped to give her "breath taking" fall
    a far more happy ending than would have been expected ...

    ***

    Pics of the Chimneys at Westbeth >>>




    This little watchtower (really a chimney, I think)
    sits on a high corner of Westbeth, the artists colony
    in a converted warehouse at the corner of the
    West Street and Bethune.


    Two towers and a bridge at Westbeth.

    ***

    A cut-off view of the chimney towers from the olden days:


    S. Berliner, III

    And more recently:


    http://flickr.com/photos/jpater/2064482759/

  2. #62

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    After being scolded I dredged back over to the ink
    WITH a camera.....I still don't like the direction
    this building is now headed in





  3. #63
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Any bet on the color of horizontal coverings over the floor plates?

  4. #64
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    This rendering doesn't show-off the white verticals now seen ...

    Hopefully both the white and the floorplates will be covered in panels
    the same color as or similar to the window frames.




  5. #65

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    I also think this glass is all wrong...should be more transparent.
    I'll have to hold judgment until they do more work to
    see the full effect but....I'm still not loving it like I used to.

  6. #66
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    While we're at it --

    I'm not crazy about the expanse of flatness that all these windows create

    Would have been better with some articulation.

    Ends up being like a post-modern version of Westbeth.

    Not a happy marriage

  7. #67
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    This one was looking good with its nice brick detail. Those windows are an awful shame.

  8. #68
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Bob's Superior Townhouses Bricking It Up On Bethune

    CURBED
    October 7, 2008


    Superior townhouses for real (top) and as rendered (below).

    Robert A.M. Stern's septet of Superior townhouses on Bethune Street, nestled
    beneath the trees behind Related's Superior Ink pre-fab condo tower, are
    getting their bricks on, not to mention their lintels, pediments and bay windows.
    This row of uber-respectability has been compared to something out of
    Reston, Virginia. With the mish-mash of neo-Georgian goodies we can see
    where that's coming from. However Stepford could be the clearer connection.
    But considering what might have been built on this site we'll cease with
    the smart remarks.


    Seven super townhouses all in a row.


    The eastern-most of the seven single family residences.


    Nostalgia and simple respectability personified.


    Villas in the Village.


    Is that a pre-fab bay window?


    The central entry exudes power.


    Bay windows on either side might compromise one's privacy.


    Trees out front will help.


    The traditional interior option from RAMSA.


    For a more contemporary look the answer is Yabu Pushelberg.


    Superior Ink as seem from Hudson River Park.


    Doubtful that it will ever look this good.

    · Superior Ink's Visions of Grandeur in Far West Village [Curbed]
    · Superior Ink: Made in China? [Curbed]
    · Gwathmey on Bethune [justinberzon.com]

    RAMSA 70 Bethune

  9. #69
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    Default 2/7/2009

    From HRP...


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  11. #71
    Kings County Loyal BrooklynLove's Avatar
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    I like this place a lot - must be nice to have cash.

  12. #72

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    I keep looking at all these pics of the rowhouses trying to find fatal flaws in their design and/or execution, and I'm really not seeing any; nice work, Robert.

    Still, what happened to the tower? It looks like some random hack's creation from 1991.

  13. #73

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    Some pics from Curbed:

    Curbed



    Curbed



    Curbed



    Curbed



    Curbed



    Curbed



    Curbed

  14. #74

  15. #75

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    These buildings (and this area) are beautiful.

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