Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Getting out your squeegees! A quick reference

New York Magazine frequently runs good features offering a handle on trends in New York real estate and urban design.

Offered for your reference and mulling over is Glass Stampede, by Justin Davidson, published Sep 7, 2008.

The article is a great resource for thinking about the rush to build in glass. It includes 54 before-and-after slides of new glass buildings recently inserted into New York’s built environment. These are perhaps be best viewed and appreciated on line.

Brian Lehrer followed up with a discussion with Justin Davidson (and an accessibly abbreviated slide show) last week.

We like glass buildings: They can be glorious and sometimes perfect for certain situations, but things have gotten out of hand and so many are so perfunctory. And transparency can also have its drawbacks. Back in the ‘70s I had a friend who bought up a whole floor in 860 United Nations Plaza (the west of the two towers). He loved to take in the sweeping views unimpeded. He ignored the co-op rules requiring everyone to have identical white curtains: Whenever the co-op called, his curtains were always “at the dry cleaner.” Many original glass buildings have only just recently aged sufficiently to be eligible for landmarking. An interesting factor when the Landmarks Preservation Commission considers them is going to be the extent to which the visible interiors, original lighting schemes and such should play into considerations of the experience to be preserved.

Anyway, look and make up your mind about the Glass Stampede and maybe listen to the Brian Lehrer segment.

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