Thursday, February 16, 2012

[Updated] What would you rather see at 51 Astor Place?

Yesterday, we posted updated photos (thanks to Curbed's discovery) of 51 Astor Place ... and there was pretty much a Universal Ugh from commenters here and on Facebook about the look of the building... (Alex calls it DisAstor Place at Flaming Pablum...)

One of our favorite responses, via Richard Bensam:

It dwarfs its surroundings and is actually less appealing than the building it replaces -- something many previously thought impossible.

On the upside, now the herbivorous primates of the East Village will finally learn how to use the femur of an antelope to crack open the skulls of tapirs and become omnivores, ensuring their future evolution into humanity. Later, their remote descendants will discover an exact duplicate of 51 Astor Place buried on the Moon.

Several people asked if the developer could just keep the empty lot the way it looks now...



Bobby Williams took the above shots on Monday afternoon.

Well, anyway, the developer probably has a few dollars tied up in this project (whistling)...

Still, we can be democratic about it. Let's put it to an unbiased vote.


Updated:

Curbed is offering a $100 gift card to St. Mark's Bookshop for the best redesign of 51 Astor Place. Smurfs are always good.

Previously on EV Grieve:
51 Astor Place demolition begins July 1; 17 months to build new black-glass tower

East Village — the new Midtown?

Workers chopping down the trees at 51 Astor Place

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Would would..." Wake up! lol.

EV Grieve said...

@ anon

Oops! That woke me up! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Dwarfs its surroundings... give me a break. It's a 13 story office building. Its neighbors are an 18 story white brick apartment building, a 16 story NYU dormitory, a 19 story condo, and ANOTHER 13 STORY OFFICE BUILDING. Christ.

Marty Wombacher said...

I voted for the empty lot. Maybe ET would return to it.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't this headline need a "What" now? "What would you rather..." Tough morning?

Anonymous said...

it simply isn't out of scale with surrounding buildings... the tower seems fairly set back from 3rd ave and the EV proper... it creates an open space on 3rd ave... reinstates the visual line of stuyvesant street probably almost to broadway... and maybe 9th street will no longer be such a street level wasteland between 3rd & 4th ave.

possibly they cheap out on the glass... but it has to look better than the tired, dated-when-it-was-built brick pile that was there before. the loss of that building is no loss to the neighborhood.

it won't be a park. that's just the nature of living in manhattan. big cities have buildings.

so what is really the complaint here? people don't like a building in a city? the fact that the building is made of glass is objectionable? the retail tenants might be corporate chains?

Anonymous said...

more modern buildings in this dingy corner please. the buildings north of this on bowery are so ugly.. (aka white brick crap) that this is welcomed.

LIBERATION said...

"but it has to look better than the tired, dated-when-it-was-built brick pile that was there before"

But unlike the building before, this building is going to invite a whole new set of corporate types who are going to want the immediate neighborhood to cater to them...of course. Which landlords will be more than happy to do. We can expect rents to go up and watch yet another neighborhood be consumed by more TGI Fridays, Starbucks, etc.

Anonymous said...

Boohoo
You dont own the building so you dont get to decide what gets built. Fucking nimby leftist losers.

Tom Paine's Ghost said...

@ anon Cause righteous fascist reactionaries don't ever
give a shit what happens in their backyard.

Richard Bensam said...

I'm internet famous now! Awesome!

If we're misjudging the scale of the new building based on those renderings, clearly the drawings were made to convey the impression that 51 Astor Place will loom over its surroundings and stand apart from them visually as a large dark glassy block. We're seeing only what they've chosen to show us.

People aren't just lashing out at anything new: what bothers us is when something is designed to be an alien intrusion. This building is meant to look like it doesn't belong on that site. It's intended to alienate the neighborhood. Buildings like 445 Lafayette Street or 41 Cooper Square win awards; their refusal to have anything to do with their surroundings is considered a virtue. A new building that suited and harmonized with the restored buildings along Astor Place and Eighth and Lafayette and the old Cooper Union building would be terrific, but that's not what's being offered.

LIBERATION said...

@Richard

"People aren't just lashing out at anything new: what bothers us is when something is designed to be an alien intrusion. This building is meant to look like it doesn't belong on that site. It's intended to alienate the neighborhood. "

Good distinction. I think the Bowery Hotel did a great job blending itself into the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Combo Chick-Fil-A / Waffle House!!!

It's never been done, it would be amazing!

glamma said...

the problem is that this is going to turn the EV into f*cking midtown you numbnuts