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  #61  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2014, 5:30 PM
M. Incandenza M. Incandenza is offline
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Originally Posted by Submariner View Post

“Its goal seems to be to preserve anything that will maintain the streetscape, whether or not the individual structures have significance. Entire blocks are frozen on the logic that the first buildings ever put there are also the best that could ever be imagined there.”

Does anyone have this guys number? I'd like to buy him a drink.
The thing is, the preservationist movement started at a time when most new buildings were really ugly, and the theory guiding urban development was terribly misguided and led to the wholesale obliteration of communities in cities all over the country. People want to preserve old buildings because they are often better than what they get replaced with.

That doesn't excuse the ninnies who complain about shadows in Central Park, or oppose genuinely high-quality new developments just for the sake of opposing them. But it doesn't seem misplaced to me to want to preserve older buildings when those buildings are better than what would replace them.
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  #62  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2014, 10:19 PM
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But it doesn't seem misplaced to me to want to preserve older buildings when those buildings are better than what would replace them.
That's not the purpose of the landmarks law. It is not intended to play favorites for what type of building is "better". It's intended to preserve rare or notable buildings.

In any case, irrelevant for this site. Hopefully the design will be a standout, given the prime location.
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  #63  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2014, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
“Its goal seems to be to preserve anything that will maintain the streetscape, whether or not the individual structures have significance. Entire blocks are frozen on the logic that the first buildings ever put there are also the best that could ever be imagined there.”

Does anyone have this guys number? I'd like to buy him a drink.


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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
That's not the purpose of the landmarks law. It is not intended to play favorites for what type of building is "better". It's intended to preserve rare or notable buildings.

The problem is that some people think anything "old" is landmark worthy, and that's not the case.


http://www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/html/about/about.shtml

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The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) is the largest municipal preservation agency in the nation. It is responsible for protecting New York City's architecturally, historically, and culturally significant buildings and sites by granting them landmark or historic district status, and regulating them once they're designated.

The agency is comprised of a panel of 11 commissioners who are appointed by the Mayor and supported by a staff of approximately 67 preservationists, researchers, architects, historians, attorneys, archaeologists and administrative employees.

There are more than 31,000 landmark properties in New York City, most of which are located in 109 historic districts and 20 historic district extensions in all five boroughs. The total number of protected sites also includes 1,332 individual landmarks, 115 interior landmarks and 10 scenic landmarks.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/html/faqs/designation.shtml

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1.What does it mean when a building is given landmark status?
It means your building has special historical, cultural, or aesthetic value to the City of New York, state or nation, is an important part of the City's heritage and that LPC must approve in advance any alteration, reconstruction, demolition, or new construction affecting the designated building.
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  #64  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2014, 11:44 AM
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http://www.providencejournal.com/opi...the-hudson.ece

John R. MacArthur: Say no to Dubai-on-the-Hudson





February 13, 2014
By John R. MacARTHUR


Quote:
West 57th Street in Manhattan might seem an unlikely setting for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “tale of two cities.” After all, no poor people live there (unless they’re sleeping in doorways).

However, the announcement last month that the Rizzoli bookstore at 31 W. 57th would close — to make way for yet another luxury tower — has caused me to see the neighborhood in a different light. It might be just the place for the new mayor to draw the line in the battle between the global plutocracy and everybody else.

Anyone traversing 57th Street will probably notice the famous Carnegie Hall, at the corner of 7th Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, the fancy department store, on the corner of Fifth Avenue, and Steinway Hall, the landmarked piano showroom, at 109 W. 57th. Easy to overlook is Rizzoli, smallish and unassuming but nonetheless a cultural jewel that in some respects is as important to the city’s social fabric as are its better-known neighbors. Perusing the three floors of Rizzoli affords an intellectual comfort and stimulation that is rapidly disappearing — along with bookstores themselves — in decreasingly cosmopolitan Manhattan.

All those tables covered with beautiful volumes of art and photography; all those lovely bookcases filled with English, French and Italian literature — this is the culture-rich New York that used to be accessible in discreet and intimate locations all over town. With its vaulted ceilings, thick carpets and wood paneling, Rizzoli is unmistakably elegant, but that doesn’t make it any less democratic, since you don’t have to pay a cent to get in the door.

The same cannot be said of the grotesquely oversized “residential” high-rises springing up along 57th Street and elsewhere in New York. Pharaonic exclusion is their motto; contempt for human scale and ordinary people their raison d’être. During Hurricane Sandy, the whole world was able to watch a crane dangling dangerously from the 75th floor of 157 W. 57th and wonder at the shortsighted greed of real-estate developers and their friends in city government. The question wasn’t, as one reporter posed it to former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whether the crane operator was properly licensed by the city. The question was why Bloomberg and the Department of City Planning had permitted the tower to be constructed in the first place.

The answer lies in the price per square foot — on average more than $6,000 a square foot for a condominium in 157 W. 57th. Real-estate money — from sellers and buyers alike — is catnip for politicians and bureaucrats hungry for tax revenue . . . and campaign contributions.

Now smaller buildings along the street are toppling like dominos. The vacant lot at 111 W. 57th, next to Steinway Hall, will before long be occupied by an apartment building that resembles a misshapen needle, 77 stories and just 60 feet wide. Whatever replaces the six-story structure that houses Rizzoli, and two adjacent properties also slated for demolition, it surely won’t be low-rise public housing. Bloomberg’s fellow billionaires, be they Russian, Chinese or Saudi, will be grateful for their spectacular views of Central Park.

Is there any hope for Rizzoli? Employees of the bookstore have collected more than 10,000 signatures protesting the demolition plan, and the local Community Board has written Robert Tierney, chairman of New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, calling for public hearings. But this is more than an uphill battle — in New York, only Spiderman can scale the face of a skyscraper, or challenge a real-estate mogul.

Rizzoli’s home — the former Sohmer Piano Co. showroom, built in 1919 in French classical style — is already shrouded in black netting, so it’s no longer possible to view the store’s lovely exterior. Seasoned smashers of all things bright and beautiful, the owners, the LeFrak family and Vornado Realty Trust, have covered up their pre-emptive defacement of the façade. The balustrade over the arched entrance was recently removed, no doubt to diminish the building’s architectural significance and discourage Tierney from reconsidering his staff’s rejection of pleas to save it.

I asked Peg Breen, president of the private New York Landmarks Conservancy, if she thought the new mayor might intervene. “I’m not hopeful,” she told me. “REBNY [Real Estate Board of New York] is the only entity with a loud voice.” And de Blasio has so far disappointed her on zoning and preservation issues. “When he was first elected public advocate, he was very friendly and even came to our board meetings,” Breen said. “Since then, nothing. [Preservation] certainly wasn’t part of his campaign.”

Of course, de Blasio (whose office has not responded to my repeated queries) could justifiably argue that he has bigger fish to fry and smaller fry to protect than a pretty bookstore owned by an Italian corporation. But time is of the essence for Manhattan, where the money power is truly out of control. You don’t need to be down and out to feel crowded out by apartments costing $90 million.

Why not make a stand on 57th Street — before our city turns into Dubai-on-the-Hudson?

Somebody slap me for reading this, then slap this guy for writing it.
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  #65  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2014, 1:12 PM
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That writer is an idiot. There is no real similarity to Dubai with these new buildings, except for the fact that both areas have tall buildings.

Other than that, they're basically polar opposites, in terms of design, context, scale, and land use.

And the writer's thesis seems to be that these buildings threaten Manhattan's historical context. Obviously they do the opposite, beause if developers weren't building skinny, tall supertowers, they would be building the more traditional shorter, fatter towers, that would obviously take out more older structures. These towers are only possible because developers assemble tons of air rights from existing older buildings, thus protecting those older buildings.

So if you actually did what this guy advocates, you would actually lose more historic building stock, because building height limits would would just mean a fatter, shorter building envelope.
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  #66  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2014, 1:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
That writer is an idiot.

These towers are only possible because developers assemble tons of air rights from existing older buildings, thus protecting those older buildings.

That's what people don't get. With all of the air rights being sold to assemble enough rights to build tall, the older structures will remain, with little to no incentive to replace them. You can argue that we will be stuck with more older buildings that could or should otherwise be replaced because of it.


Quote:
During Hurricane Sandy, the whole world was able to watch a crane dangling dangerously from the 75th floor of 157 W. 57th and wonder at the shortsighted greed of real-estate developers and their friends in city government. The question wasn’t, as one reporter posed it to former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whether the crane operator was properly licensed by the city. The question was why Bloomberg and the Department of City Planning had permitted the tower to be constructed in the first place.
That's easy - because New York is a living, thriving city. If he wants to live in a city where nothing new or tall gets built, there are many options. The fact that New York can build and attract these types of developments should be celebrated. Can the average New Yorker afford to live in a penthouse at the top? Of course not. The average New Yorker also can't afford to live in a townhouse on the east side.
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  #67  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2014, 3:46 PM
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What does Bloomberg have to do with 157? It was an as of right project.
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  #68  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2014, 3:50 PM
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What does Bloomberg have to do with 157? It was an as of right project.
The author is clueless. There is no review for an as-of-right project.

There is nothing to "stop" on the govt. end, even if you wanted to, as long as the developer is following the zoning rules.
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  #69  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2014, 4:11 PM
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What does Bloomberg have to do with 157? It was an as of right project.
Protecting his billionaire pals? Trying to destroy the lives of countless children? The Illuminati? Obeying the will of his lizard-god overlords? Your guess is as good as mine.
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  #70  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2014, 6:16 PM
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What does Bloomberg have to do with 157? It was an as of right project.
That's their point. They don't think these towers should be as-of-right. I'm sure we'll hear more about that from next weeks gathering on the "Central Park Supertowers". Gary Barnett himself will be there.
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  #71  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2014, 6:21 PM
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That's their point. They don't think these towers should be as-of-right. I'm sure we'll hear more about that from next weeks gathering on the "Central Park Supertowers". Gary Barnett himself will be there.
It would be interesting to see figures on how much these towers pump into the local economy (in terms of wages, materials, etc) and how much revenue they generate for the city, especially compared to the buildings that proceeded them.
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  #72  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2014, 6:51 PM
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It would be interesting to see figures on how much these towers pump into the local economy (in terms of wages, materials, etc) and how much revenue they generate for the city, especially compared to the buildings that proceeded them.
The critics don't look at that. They only see that billionaires may be buying units in these buildings, and that's enough to be against them. But even if the towers were being built at 500 to 700 ft, it's likely most New Yorkers wouldn't be able to move in anyway. Look at the way West 57th has been recently and derisively referred to as "billionaires way". What if it really was? Just how many streets are there in the city and what would be the problem if one of them happened to be only affordable to billionaires? (which isn't the case). I know that the city needs more affordable housing, but you were never going to really get that built on these sites.
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  #73  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2014, 6:57 PM
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That's their point. They don't think these towers should be as-of-right. I'm sure we'll hear more about that from next weeks gathering on the "Central Park Supertowers". Gary Barnett himself will be there.
Gotcha. Shouldn't they be looking at Atlantic Yards for bigger and more affordable housing instead? In my opinion of course.
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  #74  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2014, 7:24 PM
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Gotcha. Shouldn't they be looking at Atlantic Yards for bigger and more affordable housing instead? In my opinion of course.
But these towers would still be built. The entire boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens could be rebuilt with affordable housing, and the critics would still be screaming about billionaires on 57th street.
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  #75  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2014, 7:38 PM
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I know that the city needs more affordable housing, but you were never going to really get that built on these sites.
Ugh. I've run into that argument so many times. "We need affordable housing not billionaire tax havens." I try explaining to them that the location, price per square foot and land assemblage makes anything besides ultra high end a near impossibility. The pre-fab response is always "well, greedy billionaires!", "Make them include affordable units in them!", or my personal favorite, "The city should take the land from them and build affordable."

And you know what, affordable housing shouldn't be built in expensive parts of Manhattan - it should be built in more affordable parts. They should allow whatever kind of development suits the area best then use the tax proceeds to build more affordable units. I guarantee you could build more affordable housing that way then with the "You need to put affordable units in upscale area X" approach.
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  #76  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2014, 7:53 PM
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Isn't the pyramid on 57th and being built for affordable housing?
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  #77  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2014, 7:54 PM
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Isn't the pyramid on 57th and being built for affordable housing?
No, it's mostly market-rate. There is an affordable housing element, though (which is practically required if you want to build a large rental building in NYC).
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  #78  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2014, 8:03 PM
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Tour the Beautiful, Historic Rizzoli Bookstore Before It Moves
Monday, March 3, 2014, by Tiffany Yannetta
Photos by Driely S. for Racked










More photos at Racked
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  #79  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2014, 12:22 PM
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More photos at Racked
What is so special about the interior? I can't find one thing that "wows" me.
Is it the chandeliers? The high ceilings? Maybe it's just the facade that is unique.
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  #80  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2014, 4:46 PM
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What is so special about the interior? I can't find one thing that "wows" me.
Is it the chandeliers? The high ceilings? Maybe it's just the facade that is unique.
It's dreamy.....
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