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  #1  
Old Posted May 8, 2012, 4:40 PM
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Amanita Amanita is offline
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NEW YORK | One Astor Plaza | 745' | 54 FLOORS | 1972

How about a little love for this handsome Midtown Manhattan skyscraper?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Astor_Plaza

This skyscraper has an interesting lineage- it was designed by Kahn and Jacobs, the same architectural firm who designed One Penn Plaza, and the resemblance is there, in those vertical pinstripes. Specifically Der Scutt of Kahn and Jacobs, who later went on to design Trump Tower.
Now, One Astor caught some flak for its unique design, mainly that awesome spiky crown- It was one of the first, if not the first skyscrapers to break a sacred dogma of international design, namely the ban on applied symbolism. It also broke away from the flat roofed international style, and together with Citicorp in 1977, heralded the return of the skyscraper's crown.

Some other interesting tidbits- this handsome skyscraper also has two theaters on site (Well, it DOES live in the Times Square/Theater district!)
This poor thing was also the target of the infamous failed Times square bombing plot- Thank heavens that failed! It was suspected that the bombing attempt had something to do with the building's major tenant, Viacom, which is responsible for South Park, among other things.

Here's some reading on the architect:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_Scutt

And here's the building's official website:
http://1515broadway.slgreen.com/

I'll finish off this One Astor love-fest with some pics I took while I was in NYC:

http://ladyamanita.deviantart.com/ar...y-up-300780095

One note- the vertical fins on this skyscraper run all the way down to the street in some places- I remember my local friend and I hanging out in the alley between this skyscraper and one of its neighbors. My friend says "I'm gonna hug one of Astor's fins!" and proceeded to playfully wrap her arms around it. I joined in too, and that skyscraper got what was perhaps its first ever group hug! I can't remember exactly how much of that fin we managed to get our arms around, lol!

http://ladyamanita.deviantart.com/ar...ding-300782021

http://ladyamanita.deviantart.com/ar...lare-300783050

Anyone else have some One Astor photo-love they would like to share?
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  #2  
Old Posted May 9, 2012, 2:18 AM
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Wow, all these views and nobody else has any love for this skyscraper? Poor thing.
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  #3  
Old Posted May 9, 2012, 4:05 AM
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Always been one of my favorites! There were some plans a few years back for an exterior overhaul of the building / reclad, however luckily it seems like those plans have been swept under the rug . . . at least for now.
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Old Posted May 9, 2012, 5:19 AM
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And let's hope they STAY swept under the rug, that skyscraper is fine the way it is! The only thing I would do is give that crown and those fins a good scrubbing.

Edit- I looked up the rendering for that One Astor reclad, and it's...horrifying beyond words. They would have ripped the beautiful crown right off the poor thing, and made it unrecognizable. Anyone who would contemplate such an act needs to be caned Singapore-style. That's what they do to vandals, isn't it?
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Last edited by Amanita; May 9, 2012 at 7:39 AM.
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  #5  
Old Posted May 9, 2012, 6:56 PM
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  #6  
Old Posted May 9, 2012, 8:43 PM
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The fins are certainly an iconic element of the Midtown skyline (more so from the westside). I do agree though that the building could use a cleaning.
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Old Posted May 9, 2012, 10:14 PM
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One of my all time favorite skyscrapers! Glad they aren't re-cladding it that would have been a real loss. It could however use a little face-lift. I think it's crown is one of the most distinctive roofs in the city. For how significant this building is, it's surprising how overlooked this it is. If I remember correctly this is where Viacom and MTV Studios are headquartered


http://www.worldpropertychannel.com/...-sale-4220.php
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  #8  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 1:07 AM
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It's distinctive on the skyline, but I've never felt strongly one way or the other about it.
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  #9  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 1:48 AM
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in it's early years @ 1969 this tower displayed the logo "Grant's" in its crown after the dept stores.

can you imagine!!!


1969 Times Square NYC W T GRANT department stores building GRANTS vintage New York City photo by Christian Montone, on Flickr
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  #10  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 2:52 AM
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I'm glad they took that logo off, it did nothing at all for that building. I'll have to find the image of the proposed recladding, it was awful!

Edit- I found that reclad photo. It's awful, worse than I could have imagined. Let's hope it stays deader than a doornail, buried deep. Whoever would try to do this deserves a scalping!

http://www.secinfo.com/DB/SEC/2006-0...791/32-060.jpg

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Last edited by Amanita; May 10, 2012 at 5:23 AM.
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  #11  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 9:56 AM
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I think the cladding is terrible, cheap looking and clumsy but god I love that crown. I hope they never touch the crown.
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  #12  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 1:17 PM
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The crown represents a refreshing break from the monotony of ubiquitous international-style 70s structures.
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  #13  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 3:46 PM
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Viacom doesn't seem to have a problem with the current look . . they just renewed their lease there.
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  #14  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 3:59 PM
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And they're one of One Astor's major tenants!
(Speaking of viacom, I have seen some hilarious toy-fail videos on youtube, showcasing some stuff that they're responsible for!)
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