I’m nostalgic for a number of late modernist building’s that are undergoing refacings in New York City. While they are not great works of architecture, each were thoughtful works, employing the architecture of the day. The Viacom and Verizon Building both near Times Square create strong images, I think of the city then and myself respectively, they still create a strong image today as I am reminded of how not even ten years ago Times Square was considered the Wild West. These buildings are quintessential 1960’s New York, they were somewhat tenacious for being built on the edge of a business district; they were frontiers and had a certain dynamism to them. I am also saddened by the loss of 2 Columbus Circle. Countless movies and TV shows from the 1960's era will show this beautifully tacky building as an integral part of the cityscape and although failed as a museum, its architecture was quintessential New York. The worst part is that I would have no problem if these buildings were going to be replaced for some dramatic statement, such is the name of progress, but my problem is that these buildings are being replaced for something wholly forgettable. I feel much of New York, at least Manhattan, is becoming whitewashed and monotonous, the refacings verify this, the faceless replacements reaffirm a current misdirection in idealism.
Its oh, so forgettable replacement:
The needless destruction of a perfectly fine building:
2 Columbus Circle, quintessential 1960s NYC:
The faceless, unnecessary, and lastly ugly replacement:
More needless destruction:
The next building rumored to have a needlessly, white-washed fate: