Tuesday, October 5, 2004

NY Times Architecture Critic Weighs in on 2 Columbus Circle

2 Columbus Circle: New NY Times Architecture Critic Faults Mayor Bloomberg and MAD Design

"It seems that private interests are once again being favored above the broader public realm. [Edward Durell] Stone's design, and the people of this city, deserve more respect than this," writes NY Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff (see link to 10/4/04 NYT article below), connecting the dots between the Landmarks Commission's refusal to hold a public hearing for 2 Columbus Circle and the Bloomberg administration's development agenda.The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) proposal to reclad the building doesn't pass muster on aesthetic grounds either. "The real aim of this design is to cleanse the site of uncomfortable historical memories and thereby make it more palatable for powerful real estate interests. And this is a dangerous sign for the future."

Dangerous signs, indeed.LANDMARK WEST! saw the sign last November, when we and colleague organizations filed a lawsuit challenging the City's waywardness on 2 Columbus Circle. Yesterday afternoon, we filed an appeal, signaling our commitment to ensuring that 2 CC receives the due process it deserves. Help us make sure Mayor Bloomberg gets the message: New Yorkers want to know, how many more buildings will he allow to be lost because of politics? Send letters in response to today's article to letters@nytimes.com, then go to http://nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mayor.html and send Bloomberg a copy of your letter. As always, please make sure we also get a copy at landmarkwest@landmarkwest.org.

Head's up: in late October, the NY City Council plans to hold a public hearing to address concerns about the functioning of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Your participation is vital! Stay tuned for specifics...

A link to the NY Times article by Nicolai Ouroussoff is here.

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