2 Columbus Circle NYC

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2 Columbus Circle NYC

Postby nichols » Mon May 24, 2004 12:49 pm

Edward Durrell Stone's 1964 hi-rise in New York is threatened :

http://www.save2columbus.org/

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Postby SDR » Wed Jun 29, 2005 2:09 pm

"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

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Postby CapitalMod » Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:59 pm

I hope it survives. I used to live a couple of blocks away at 58th and 9th Ave. I miss the MTA building that the tore down there as it resembled the building on the Stoly vodka bottle.

Stone's building fits better as its curves enable it to conform to Columbus Circle.

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Postby SDR » Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:28 pm

Yes -- a building that "speaks" to its site and environment -- by its shape, in this case -- is "a gift to the street," as someone said (who?).

If you know Manhattan, answer me this: what happened to 4th Avenue?
I was studying the midtown NYC map in my US road atlas (tracing the route of some characters in a short story) and discovered two things which surprised me -- as they undoubtedly should not have, growing up as I did an hour north of the city: there's no 4th Avenue (it goes, east to west: York [Sutton Pl], First, Second, Third, Lexington, Park, Madison, Fifth, Avenue of the Americas [formerly Sixth], Seventh, Eighth [Central Park West], Ninth [Columbus], Tenth [Amsterdam], Eleventh [West End Av] and Twelfth; the last four substitutions occur above 59th St [Central Park South]. The layout would suggest that Park Avenue might once have been 4th Avenue [?]; Lexington and Madison are unique interpolations squeezed in on either side of Park).

The other surprise, which is what took me from the story to the map, is that, contrary to my "fixed" memory, the Whitney Museum is NOT one block north of, and catty-corner to, the M of MA (as my father called it). I now realize that was its original location, but the Marcel Breuer building, which was the Whitney's new home, is way up on East 75th, a half block from the park.

Oh well, it's never too late to catch up, I guess. . .!

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Postby SDR » Fri Jul 01, 2005 11:04 am

Ah -- thanks! Guess I need a full map of the island. I imagine the alternate names for the western avenues at the park and northward (?) derive from a time when lower Manhattan was still undeveloped? Seems to me I recall reading something like that. . .

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Postby CapitalMod » Fri Jul 01, 2005 11:57 am

Hey no problem. New York is loaded with oddities. The streets are numbered in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn but are prefaced with "Bay" as in Bay 89th street. The same in Rockaway except that there it would be Beach 89th street. Queens is derived from madness as one can encounter 39th Avenue, 39th street, and 39th road, sometimes within blocks of one another.

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Postby davidk6 » Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:11 pm

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Postby SDR » Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:57 pm

"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

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Postby CapitalMod » Sat Jul 02, 2005 6:16 am

Yep. I think Wall Street was named as such becaue the Dutch built a wall for protection.

Lots of streets are ceremoniously renamed in NY. The UN has lots for Schransky, the Mandelas, etc. The block where the Fillmore West was is called Bill Graham Way. I think the block where CBGBs is located is named for Joey Ramone.

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2 columbus

Postby sloanfiske » Tue Jul 12, 2005 1:00 pm

it's a shame to see it go, if it does, but...

i produced a movie that was going to use the top floor as part of a set. spectacular views of the park with an unbeliveable balcony. day before the said day in production...elevators went to pot. city was no help. left an entire set up there. i could still see parts of it when i passed it. wonder if they ever got it out.

interior porthole windows were fantastic and the wood panelling through out was nothing short of spectacular.

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Postby SDR » Tue Jul 12, 2005 1:15 pm

What a story. Did you end up replicating with a studio set, or didn't it happen?

Many of us focus on the exterior of an historic building, forgetting that for every wondrful facade or shell, an equally (or more) wonderful interior is also threatened. In fact, while many architects would echo the sentiments of those like Wright in claiming that the interior is the whole reason for building in the first place, many preservationists (or, at least, the codes written in response to their pleas for forebearance on behalf of significant historic structures) seem willing to permit the alteration or destruction of the interiors of those buildings, so long as the exterior remains intact..

Perhaps this reflects the reality, that the salvation of many public or commercial buildings has rested on finding new uses for them, which in so many cases involves extensive interior revision?

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movie set

Postby sloanfiske » Thu Jul 28, 2005 6:30 am

we wound up changing locations.

the whole set was built and the elevators went down right before all the furniture was loaded in.

found a new location and loaded the furniure in there.

you're right about the interiors. that makes the loss of this building double.

it really is spectacular.

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Postby SDR » Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:18 pm

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Postby SDR » Sat Jul 30, 2005 9:13 am

Guest editorial in today's NY Times:
___________________________

The Black Hole of Columbus Circle

By SHERIDA E. PAULSEN

FOR the last two years, ever since it was announced that 2 Columbus Circle would be extensively renovated and turned into the new Museum of Arts and Design, preservationists have pressed with new urgency to have the building designated a landmark. But 2 Columbus Circle simply doesn't qualify. That is the professional judgment of the 19 people, myself included, who have served on the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission since 1996.

In order to be considered a landmark in New York City, a building must meet certain criteria. It must be at least 30 years old, and it must have contributed to the city's development in the fields of architecture, history or culture. 2 Columbus Circle fails all but the age test.

To be sure, a significant architect, Edward Durell Stone, designed 2 Columbus Circle. But the building is not one of Stone's notable works. It does not compare to his original Museum of Modern Art building, his United States Embassy in New Delhi or his fanciful Pepsico campus in Purchase, N.Y.

What's more, the Columbus Circle building is of little consequence historically or culturally. It was built to house the Huntington Hartford Museum, which existed for just five years, from 1964 to 1969. No occupant since has developed a lasting attachment to the space, and as a result the structure has become known as the black hole of Columbus Circle.

Moreover, the museum's design did not influence the work of other architects or the look of other institutions. The building's defenders claim that Stone's work on this building was a milestone in architectural design, intended as a critique of orthodox modernism. They contend that his use of marble and decorative details was an innovative response to the more straitlaced modern designs of the 1950's.

But this is preposterous. Luxurious materials were used in modern buildings throughout the 20th century. The Barcelona Pavilion, the Seagram's Building, and the later Rockefeller Center buildings of Wallace Harrison and Max Abramowitz are just a few that come to mind. Decorative geometric forms were relatively common in the West Coast office buildings designed by Charles Luckman and John Carl Warnecke - to say nothing of Frank Lloyd Wright's works of the 1950's. In fact, the 2 Columbus Circle building has no one-of-a-kind architectural qualities.

On the historical, cultural, and architectural merits, then, 2 Columbus Circle doesn't make the cut for landmark status. But rather than accept this judgment, preservationists have accused the Landmarks Preservation Commission of ignoring their requests and concerns. But we've done no such thing. When we receive a request to evaluate a site, every one of our commissioners is required to consider the building's importance, determine its probable status and recommend the review process that should follow. The review of 2 Columbus Circle has been conducted under the stewardship of three different chairmen and reflects the opinions of 19 commissioners, including six architects, four historians, two planners and three realtors.

Critics have suggested that the landmarks commission in general ignores postwar architecture. On the contrary, the commission has led the way in protecting the later 20th-century landmarks, beginning in the early 1980's with the designation of Lever House, the Seagram's Building and the TWA terminal at Kennedy Airport. Since 1996, the same commissioners who have repeatedly declined to designate 2 Columbus Circle a landmark have happily designated many other postwar buildings, including Marcel Breuer's Begrisch Hall in the Bronx, Eero Saarinen's CBS headquarters, Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo's Ford Foundation Building, and 240 Central Park South.

The building at 2 Columbus Circle was so unlikely to qualify for landmark status, however, that after careful consideration, the commission determined that it did not merit a public hearing. If we were to hold such hearings simply upon request - rather than reserving them for buildings that meet the criteria - they would become exercises in theater that would not fulfill the intention of the New York City landmarks law.

In the last four decades, New York has protected 23,000 structures and landscapes that meet the law's standards for landmark designation. Two Columbus Circle is just not qualified to be one of them.
___________________________

Sherida E. Paulsen, an architect, served on New York's Landmarks Preservations Commission from 1995 through 2004 and was its chairwoman from 2001 to 2003.
___________________________

"Black Hole of Columbus Circle"? Shouldn't that moniker be reserved for the monstrous new commercial/residential towers immediately south of the (former) Huntington Hartford Museum?
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Postby CapitalMod » Sat Jul 30, 2005 5:35 pm

Insane... :(

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Postby nichols » Mon Aug 01, 2005 10:34 am

New York City (which includes Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island) at 321 square miles has 23,000 registered landmarks?
and the City of Los Angeles (which does not include Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, etc.), with 465 square miles, has 800?

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Postby davidk6 » Mon Aug 01, 2005 2:41 pm

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Postby SDR » Mon Aug 01, 2005 3:29 pm

"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

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Postby davidk6 » Mon Aug 01, 2005 4:23 pm

Marxist Philosophy: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

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Postby davidk6 » Mon Aug 01, 2005 4:28 pm

Marxist Philosophy: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

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Postby davidk6 » Mon Aug 01, 2005 4:33 pm

Marxist Philosophy: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

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Postby davidk6 » Mon Aug 01, 2005 4:44 pm

Marxist Philosophy: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

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Postby SDR » Mon Aug 01, 2005 5:35 pm

"EX-cell-ent. . .!" as Mr Burns says.

You've got it. . .you'd never guess I grew up in Westchester (a world away?), would you. Awylind it is, fuh shuh. (Oy!)

[George Costanza's mother]: ". . .AWY'm not taking advawyce from some gurrl from Lawn GAWYlind. . .!!"

Boroughs, of course. "One of the administrative units of New York City," sez Webster. So it's an exclusive. ("New Jork Ceety," as they say in the salza commercial. . .)

And yes, those are districts. But, it CAN'T be a Frisco exclusive, can it? Calling all Districts. . .!

(The very young castaways of "The Blue Lagoon" remember only that they were on the way to some place called "San Forrisco". . .)

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Postby sloanfiske » Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:42 am


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Postby davidk6 » Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:58 am

Marxist Philosophy: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

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Postby SDR » Thu Aug 04, 2005 9:06 am

"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

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Postby davidk6 » Thu Aug 04, 2005 9:15 am

Marxist Philosophy: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

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Postby sloanfiske » Thu Aug 04, 2005 9:48 am

Best thing about NYC...

Public Transportation...the great equalizer.

Kills me to think about LA's...I remember stories about the "Red Car" and all of the issues with the building of the "Subway" and it's associated "Lines" and just have to wonder.

Oh, and the 10 degrees...no sun depression. :o


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