Today, advocates for the replacement of the existing, depressing Penn Station argued that the nation's largest transportation hub is inherently unsafe.
The Walentas family wants to erect a $1.5 billion neighborhood from the remnants of the Domino Sugar factory on the Williamsburg waterfront.
A prominent New York architect and urban planner will at Friday's Municipal Art Society conference propose a promenade up the middle of Park Avenue.(2)
"Clearly, the work is terrific," said Roger Byrom, chairman of the community board's Landmarks Committee, at the meeting.
"We applaud this, and we don't applaud a lot of things," said another.
It's true. Plans to revamp the area between the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Battery have attracted famous architects before, and they haven't always fared so well. More than a decade ago, a plan to locate a downtown branch of the Guggenheim Museum in the neighborhood, with a design by Frank Gehry, was memorably likened to a cherry bomb exploding in a Diet Coke can by a community board member.
New York’s last great period of architectural achievement, during the 1950s and '60s, was bolstered by a massive postwar public works and jobs drive fueled with money from the federal government, which made possible public-facing projects like the United Nations complex and Lincoln Center. It was also a period in which architects like Frank Gehry, Mies van der Rohe, and Walter Gropius were designing buildings with distinct and memorable profiles, like the Guggenheim Museum, the Seagrams Building, and the Pan Am Building for corporate clients, in those days when expressions of corporate power on such a scale were applauded by the public with an almost jingoistic fervor.(1)