Tuesday, September 16, 2008

NYC then and now, but the then wasn't too long ago

nymag compiled 54 before/after photos of street corners and buildings that have been revamped/demolished over the past 25 years. i feel pretty conflicted about this whole debate, and watching the "die yuppie scum" 20th anniversary rally pass my apartment in june left me even more torn (all that hatred..from both sides!!).

regardless of which side of the fence you're on, this is a these article and photos are a must see.
(via Kottke)

below: excerpts from the article

110 Third Avenue
The Variety Arts Theater was an institution that seemed to spend most of its 90-year existence in a state of gentle decline. Finally razed in 2004, it gave birth to Greenberg Farrow’s impressively awful tower, full of fussy fenestration and clutter. A real loss.

New 42nd Street Studios
229 West 42nd Street
The currency of Times Square has always been razzle-dazzle, but until 42nd Street’s magical overhaul, it was mostly ginned up by tired marts and screeching signs. Platt Byard Dovell’s rehearsal studios found a more refined way to be brassy. At night, the outer skin of metal slats—little screens, really, for the play of colored lights—performs an electric dance. More than makes up for the departed Selwyn Theater.

8 Union Square South
At University Place
This glassy dud rises on the site of a little drama that took place in 2005 when workers pulverized a quirky glass stairwell tower in a 1949 building by Morris Lapidus—just as the Landmarks commission was issuing its protective decree. Its successor is utterly generic.


105 Norfolk Street
Some fancy new architecture was inevitable and even desirable here, and it’s not as if Bernard Tschumi’s baublelike condo displaced any gems. But from a certain angle, the swollen blue thing looks disconcertingly like … well, like a sore thumb.

One Union Square South
At Broadway
Davis Brody Bond’s apartments are basically a support for Metronome, the ever-puzzling steam-¬breathing artwork that tells time but remains silent about history. The legendary Union Square Theater stood on this site and should never have been allowed to rot.

New Museum)

New Museum of Contemporary Art
235 Bowery
Simple and inviting on the street, the museum is more aggressive inside, where acres of fluorescent lights give the galleries a bleary, refrigerated feel. Inhabiting a long-vacant lot, Sanaa’s brilliant stack of boxes is perfect in what is—for now—a transitional zone.

Cooper Square Hotel
27 Cooper Square
When tenants of a ramshackle four-story building refused to leave, Carlos Zapata simply sucked their homes into his design for the tower clad in milky glass. The result is an elegant building that makes a clumsy intrusion, like a well-dressed passenger on a crowded subway train, forcing his rear onto a too-small slice of seat. Such a radical neighborhood transformation needed more tenderness and care.

Jess Goldberg

4 Times Square
At 42nd Street
A dour, broad-shouldered office building and a Nathan’s Famous stood in the way of the glamorization of Times Square. Fox & Fowle’s handsome landmark for Condé Nast offered the neighborhood some much-needed architectural sophistication, as well as a nice gastronomic rejoinder to the wiener stand: Frank Gehry’s beautifully baroque cafeteria.

Avalon Chrystie Place
229 Chrystie Street
The staid developer AvalonBay recruited Arquitectonica and SLCE Architects to doll up its façade, and the result is a marriage of expediency and dullness. It has helped lift the neighborhood’s fortunes, but at what cost?

No comments:

Recent Posts