Thursday, June 19, 2008


AM New York has an article "10 to lose: Ugly buildings NYC would be better without," and I'm so happy to hear that other people — real urban aesthetics professionals — also despise AT&T's foreboding Communist-era concrete behemoth on Thomas Street. I always assumed the building just housed switches, routers, and other telco equipment and it's built from an entirely functional point of view, but it looks like it's straight out of a Kafkaesque nightmare and needs, like, a plant or something.

I can see making those blank walls into a graffiti artist's canvas brightening up the neighborhood.

Another building that needs tearing down, stat, is the Astor Place Tower sitting, or oozing, on the corner of Lafayette and Broadway and sticking out like twenty-two inch rims on a 1974 Datsun. These trippy post-modern buildings are popping up all over lower Manhattan, especially on the Lower East Side, which is still home to a bunch of dirty tenements... or spruced-up tenements now available for lofty rents. Much as I like the neighborhood, I'm not a huge fan of its look and I have no issue with these heavily angular (or heavily un-angular — I'm not an architecture critic, in case you couldn't tell) fiberglass and glass-glass mixed-residentials springing up. It's the ones that keep springing up and up, growing above the neighborhood like a condominium freak crying out for attention that bother me.

I'm sure they have great views for the privileged few at the top, but they're fucking up the views from the street for the rest of us.