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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2014, 12:15 AM
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If we HAD saved "The Singer Building" what next?

The Singer Building:


Of all the great tragedies of the 60's Architectural Holocaust, the loss of the Singer Building stands apart as one of the most biting. It came so closed to being saved, and yet was ultimately destroyed despite the best efforts of the newly formed historical preservation society.

But…

What if history had been slightly different?
What if someone had come in at the 11th hour and purchased the building, saving it from destruction. What next?

The building was demolished in 1968 as Manhattan was entering into a long economic slump. How could the building have been made to be both profitable and economic WHILE maintaining ask much of the rich architectural history as possible?

Revamped office spaces?
Luxury Condos?
Perhaps some civic building, library or learning center?

Curious what the pontificators among us may consider.
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Old Posted Feb 11, 2014, 1:45 PM
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Condos from a 21st century vantage-point, but I suppose there wasn't much demand for condos/apartments in the 1960s-era financial district, nor much of a history of repurposing office towers.

I too lament the wanton destruction of these beauties, and rank the Singer (and Penn Station) as perhaps the most egregious examples. Also the NY World building and the rest of newspaper row (below):

wikipedia
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Old Posted Feb 11, 2014, 2:17 PM
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New York World Building is definitely one of my all-time favorites. Such dreamy architecture.
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Old Posted Feb 11, 2014, 5:47 PM
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"architectural holocaust"? Seriously?

People over-mystify these early century buildings so much, it's not even funny. There are plenty of buildings just like the ones in the above photo that nobody gives a shit about.
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2014, 6:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatOneGuy View Post
"architectural holocaust"? Seriously?

People over-mystify these early century buildings so much, it's not even funny. There are plenty of buildings just like the ones in the above photo that nobody gives a shit about.
There are also plenty of buildings in that photo that people DO give a shit about that are no more, just like there are several new buildings people don't give a shit about. Your point is what exactly? Anyways on to the topic at hand.


It's hard to say if the Singer building ever could have been saved in the '60s due to there not being much of a condo tower market back then. The only way I think it could have been saved was if someone bought the entire block and connected all the buildings togheter (forming some sort of mini-complex), or they would have demolished the rest of the block and built a modern office tower there.

As for today it would probably as said earlier be condos. Though I do ponder how 9/11 would have affected it if it was saved.
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Old Posted Feb 11, 2014, 11:16 PM
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Looking into the history of other historical treasures that DID survive, I have noticed a trend.

Many of these buildings went through a "Decay and Rebirth" stage. Often they were used for low rent apartments, their insides falling apart and decaying.
Then as the Economy in NewYork picked up again in the 80's and 90's they start to be bought out and turned into Luxury Condo's.

In terms of trying to keep it "useful" I agree that tying it together with other near by buildings, mainly the City Investment Building and of course the Hudson Terminal.



Considering that these three buildings were cleared to make way for the World Trade centers, The best option I am thinking is buying out All Three Properties and redeveloping them into a massive linked Commercial Complex. That could allow you to have a unified space, and then, as the need for commercial space became truly high in the 70's, Perhaps, you could "Sacrifice" the smaller buildings in between those three for a large WTC office tower.
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Old Posted Apr 14, 2016, 4:01 PM
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Old Posted Apr 14, 2016, 4:05 PM
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How could they?

gawker
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  #9  
Old Posted Apr 14, 2016, 4:22 PM
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I vehemently support historical preservation of architecturally significant buildings, but in this case, I just think meh.

This building wasn't all that special, had weird proportions with floor plans that were too small to even function properly. Overall this is far from New York's greatest losses. Do New Yorkers even know that it existed? or care?
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Old Posted Apr 14, 2016, 4:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyler Xyroadia View Post
Considering that these three buildings were cleared to make way for the World Trade centers
City Investing and Singer were on the current site of One Liberty Plaza, not the WTC.
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Old Posted Apr 14, 2016, 4:52 PM
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I wish some rich guy out there would put the cash and rebuild this. Only taller, but with all of the intricate details. They don't make them like they use to anymore.
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Old Posted Apr 14, 2016, 5:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The North One View Post
I vehemently support historical preservation of architecturally significant buildings, but in this case, I just think meh.

This building wasn't all that special, had weird proportions with floor plans that were too small to even function properly. Overall this is far from New York's greatest losses. Do New Yorkers even know that it existed? or care?
Most people aren't into architecture and skyscrapers so you don't judge a loss by what the average person knows or are concerned about.

It held the title of the world's tallest building at one time, a very small exclusive club. That alone should warrant landmark protection and that isn't even considering its architectural merits. It is a major loss for New York and skyscraper history.
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Old Posted Apr 20, 2016, 2:10 AM
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it's saved, along with the neighboring City Investment Building. it becomes low-rent office space and storage/data machine space until residential conversion in the 90s. the shadow parts of City Investment get turned into convention or classroom space.

post 9/11 the buildings survive but damaged and end up being "restored" with some gaudy glass additions to be high end condos/hotel and conference space (the shadow part of City Investment).

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  #14  
Old Posted May 3, 2016, 3:59 AM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyler Xyroadia View Post
Looking into the history of other historical treasures that DID survive, I have noticed a trend.

Many of these buildings went through a "Decay and Rebirth" stage. Often they were used for low rent apartments, their insides falling apart and decaying.
Then as the Economy in NewYork picked up again in the 80's and 90's they start to be bought out and turned into Luxury Condo's.

In terms of trying to keep it "useful" I agree that tying it together with other near by buildings, mainly the City Investment Building and of course the Hudson Terminal.



Considering that these three buildings were cleared to make way for the World Trade centers, The best option I am thinking is buying out All Three Properties and redeveloping them into a massive linked Commercial Complex. That could allow you to have a unified space, and then, as the need for commercial space became truly high in the 70's, Perhaps, you could "Sacrifice" the smaller buildings in between those three for a large WTC office tower.
Holy crap, I knew about Singer, but always thought it was gaudy and over the top. The other buildings lost in this photo are far more compelling and wow, can't believe anyone tore that down.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2016, 5:29 PM
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7 Landmark Buildings We've Lost to Demolition

Quote:
The world has lost a tremendous number of historic structures that were once monumental testaments to mankind's ingenuity and innovation. Many have been lost to war, terrorism, fire, or natural disasters, but a great number have been willfully demolished in the name of "progress." Most heritage and architecture enthusiasts can name at least one building in their city that they wish had been protected, but was razed to make way for new spaces deemed more fit for modern times. But from the rubble of these proud landmarks rose the fight for heritage preservation. Recognizing not only the aesthetic and beautifying purpose they served, but their social and cultural importance as well, the loud voices of preservationists around the world have spurred the creation of legislation that seeks to protect remarkable buildings and prevent their untimely demise.
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  #16  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2016, 6:32 PM
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This probably killed it more than anything else, according to wikipedia; "The tower portion of the building contained only 4,200 square feet (390 m2) per floor, compared with 37,000 square feet (3,400 m2) per floor of the building that replaced it, the U.S. Steel Building (currently known as 1 Liberty Plaza)." So the building had a big base but a tiny, narrow tower which was a waste of space and money.

While it had many ornate, decorative features that would have been nice to preserve, it's gone.

Sew what?
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Old Posted Jun 7, 2016, 7:54 PM
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If it had survived to the modern era, it would be perfect for conversion to condos like the tower of Woolworth or 40 Wall.
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