This is not an improvement, people.

Let us review.

Before….

before

After:

This is not an improvement.

For those who may not know, one of my degrees is in restoration. Though I am *by no means* anti-development in the City of New York, I do think that there are some buildings that should not be significantly altered. This was one of them, and I have been vocal about that for years now. All we have now is another not only ugly, (woo hoo. You can create a grid in autocad. Congratulations.) but *boring* building that looks like a weird throwback. It’s not interesting(save the shape of the building, which was there to begin with), it’s not iconic. It’s not anything except another ugly building.

I have never once stated that I thought the original was some marvelous thing of beauty. But it was absolutely iconic, unique and architecturally interesting. It could not be mistaken for any other building, in a city where all too many structures blend together into sameness. It deserved protection it never got, save as a token last ditch effort by Landmarks West, who jumped into the fray with too little, too late when they could (and IMO, should) have gotten into the battle ten years earlier.

This is not an improvement. It’s just fucking sad.

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10 Comments

  1. i’m with you. the original isn’t beautiful, but it is interesting, and as such i liked it.

    what’s wrong with ornament anyway??? it’s *interesting*. yeah, i know it’s upkeep isn’t cheap, but compared to the new thing, how much money are we discussing?

    sigh.

  2. Damn. The old building looks like Monty Python’s idea of a siege tower. Were there any windows at all below the top level?!

    I can see why they did it…yes, it did turn into just another undistinguished glass tower, but I’m not so sure that’s not an improvement over the original, at least from the viewpoint of someone who would be working there.

  3. I wouldn’t agree in either case, but you probably should know that it’s not an office tower.

    It’s a museum, which changes things a fair bit.

  4. oh, so there’s an “H” in addition to the “E” – the CTW’s gonna be all OVER filming that building, ugly or no…

  5. Still…I can’t help but say “Ni!!” when I see the old picture.

  6. See, I don’t see a downside there, Jay… 🙂

    Oh btw, I probably should post something about last night’s south park thing, huh?

  7. It was ugly before (looked like a tombstone), but at least it was unique and had character. Now it’s even uglier, and it looks like every other skyscraper in NYC.

  8. They call adding a couple of columns of windows, lopsided at that, an improvement? And removing the ornamentation around the building edges?

    Sad. It had character before this. Plus, I’m pale; I LIKE a lack of stupid windows.

  9. Let’s not forget “removing what was interesting about the windows to begin with” from all of this. It’s not even that they added some as much as they completely destroyed the intent here.

  10. What were they thinking? This is “Ye-Olde-Modern-Style”. It could be from any city anywhere. It’s just boring. Where’s Howard Roark when you need him?


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