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NYguy Jan 1, 2014 3:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eveningsong (Post 6390198)
Will the city do such a thing? I hope not.

Off topic - What building is shown to the left of the Chrysler Building photo?

The b&w? That's the one that gave us the New York we know today. The City was so alarmed with its size (it rose straight up without setback) that zoning was instituted to regulated the size and form of sksycrapers.


120 Broadway, The Equitable Building


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...9_postcard.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NY...9_postcard.jpg


http://thermoroll.com/pages/images/equitable.jpg
http://thermoroll.com/pages/

Submariner Jan 1, 2014 5:28 PM

Wow....I must say, I really like the original design for the Time Warner center.

NYguy Jan 1, 2014 7:42 PM

http://paintinglifestories.blogspot.com/

Twilight at the League

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Lbya9XOVZZ...ght+Studio.jpg

The Art Students League of New York, 4th Floor Skylight Studio


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JTbptuxXOL...t+Studio+2.jpg

4th Floor Skylight Studio



by Robert Holden
December 11, 2013


Quote:

I wonder if anybody really cares anymore about painting indoors by daylight alone. The reason I’m wondering is that The Art Students League of New York, my social club and workout facility for drawing and painting, will soon have none of it left in its historic north-light studios, at least not enough to paint by.

Maybe natural light is not so important for artists anymore. But the north-light studios on our two uppermost floors have been the pride of the League since we moved into our current home, The American Fine Arts Society building on West 57th Street, way back in 1892. That same year, Frank Vincent Dumond began teaching his principles of painting under the glorious and nonpareil light of day, or, more precisely, cool, indirect north light, which transforms the humblest of objects into the rarest of gems. Dumond famously held court for 59 years in Studio 7, the biggest and best studio on the fourth floor, until his death in 1951. His long-time student Frank Mason took over the class for another 57 years, until his death in 2009. And Mason’s long-time student Thomas Torak continues to hold forth to this day in that very same studio.

Double check my math, but that’s 121 years worth of unbroken tradition at this 138-year-old independent art school, which has been run by artists for artists since its founding in 1875.

There seems to be no huge outcry from the many students and instructors who frequent the five north-light studios on the fourth and fifth floors, the etching studios on the third floor, the drawing studio where Robert Beverly Hale taught anatomy for many years on the 2nd floor and the clay sculpture studios in the basement, so perhaps the answer to my question is “no” everywhere in the world today, with maybe a slight sigh of resignation from a few old-timers. It seems like the best realist painters in America are dispensing with daylight entirely in their studios and are shining very bright artificial light on their subjects so they can paint them photographically. Besides, artificial light is far more constant than even the best north light. It provides fixed patterns of light and shade and makes rank amateurs happy painters.

Here at the League, two massive skyscrapers that will be erected next door and behind us over the next five or six years will probably snuff out most of the remaining natural light entering our studios. Our light is already greatly compromised because of the construction of taller buildings to the north over the years, including a boarding school for the St. Thomas Episcopal Church boy’s choir. That building reflects a noxious orange light into the north-light studios at certain times of the day.

Extell Development Co. will be erecting the tallest building in New York City right next door, an 88-floor behemoth that could rise to 1,550 feet if Extell decides to go ahead with its original proposal. Final plans have not been divulged by the developer, but a height of 1,423 feet is the current projection. The top 74 floors of the skyscraper will be a residential condominium tower, with a department store and hotel on the lower floors.

A majority of The Art Students League members stupidly voted in 2005 to sell most of the League’s air rights to Extell for $23.1 million so the developer could build “higher.” We just didn’t know how high at the time. We thought maybe 40 floors or so. Many of us voted "no" because we were sure the deal spelled trouble for the League down the road.


Our Board planned to use part of the “windfall” to recreate an exhibition gallery in the rear half of the first floor, a double-height structure with a glass roof that stretches north to West 58th Street. That space was once the magnificent George W. Vanderbilt Gallery, which was completed in 1893. The League converted that space many years ago into drawing and painting studios. We also had plans to create two additional floors of natural light studios over that part of the League building. Neither plan was carried forward.

Now Extell wants to suspend one third of its entire 74-story residential tower over that part of our building to avoid having its view of Central Park blocked by another skyscraper to be built right behind it on West 58th Street. At least that’s one theory for why Extell wants its egregious cantilever over our building.

The League’s students and instructors don’t seem to terribly mind having this monstrosity hanging over the fully occupied studio classrooms located directly under the glass roof, which is now covered by ½-inch thick sheets of plywood and bitumen roof paper to keep the rain out. In fact, 63 League instructors, including 86-year-old Harvey Dinnerstein, who has taught in a wonderful skylight studio on the fourth floor seemingly forever, have even signed a petition in support of our Board’s recommendation to accept $25.8 million from Extell for more of our air rights so it can build its cantilever tower. The League’s membership must ultimately approve or reject the sale and will vote on it later this month.

During the five-year construction phase of Extell’s skyscraper, I can imagine that protective netting and sheds and whatnot will obstruct the light entering through the League’s skylights and studio windows. But we don’t yet know the extent of the protections, or how much natural light, if any, will enter the studios during construction.

Painters like me who prefer painting by natural light know that technical studies of reflected light and shadows, along with educated guesses, won’t give us the answer to the future of natural light at the League. We know from experience with the church boarding school behind us that we won’t find out until the completion several years from now of Extell’s skyscraper and that other skyscraper behind it on West 58th Street, a 920-foot giant just north and a little to the west of the League.

The Landmarks Commission did not examine numerous safety issues regarding the excavation and construction phases of Extell’s skyscraper right next to our historic art school, which is open seven days and five evenings a week for art classes and workshops. Being unaware of the Commission’s seeming lack of empathy, I even went to its hearing on Extell’s cantilever proposal to prattle on nervously about a “Sword of Damocles hanging over our heads” and the like, before being cut off just short of my brilliant summation, having exceeded my allotted three minutes.

Many other opponents of the cantilever also testified about safety, loss of light, shadows on Central Park, outsize scale, community input, inadequate compensation, etc. After the testimony, both pro and con, the Commission Chair said, “Thank you very much,” and the Commission immediately took a vote to approve Extell’s cantilever 6 to 1.

The League for many years has been the owner and sole occupant of the American Fine Arts Society building at 215 West 57th Street, which has been designated a city landmark. In order to build its cantilever over our landmarked building, Extell had to win approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Extell says it will commence its tower about 30 floors above the roof of our five-story building. It will be like having permanent space-station pieds-à-terre in the sky above us for billionaire investors from the Middle East and Far East.

All the Commission was tasked to consider, we learned, was whether a guy 6 ft. 4 in. tall would look directly across the street at the League and see the cantilever. The Commission knows that in New York City nobody ever looks up for fear of stepping in something in their path. Oh, and lest I forget, Extell, the Commission, and the Art Students League’s governing Board of Control, which is pushing the sale to pad its exchequer, all confidently predict that the cantilever will have minimal effect on the light entering the League Studios. Yeah, right.

The prime tenant of Extell’s skyscraper will be Nordstrom’s flagship department store in New York City, with its entrance a short distance to the left of the League entrance. That should prove exciting for the League and its artists’ models, as shoppers will be wandering all over our building, thinking they have entered Nordstrom’s surprisingly shabby lingerie fitting rooms. And why are all those other people in here?

It looks like Extell’s cantilever is a done deal, thanks to our foolishness for selling the developer our air rights in the first place back in 2005. Here’s a little black humor that’s going around: “The Art Students League property will make a nice parking lot for Nordstrom” and “All that will be left of the League will be a bronze plaque reading, ‘Former Home of The Art Students League of New York, 1875-?’ ”

We don’t have to lose heart just yet, however. Here is an online exchange between two readers of a New York Times article about past and future development on West 57th Street: “But don't the studios in the Art Students' League need light?” “$20M buys a ton of fancy bulbs.”

Well, we all know you can’t count on anything being around forever. Not even daylight.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BC3h9Pkft_...ching+1940.jpg



http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GVYYabdq36...L+Building.jpg



http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-f9xmav3H_D.../ASL+Extel.jpg



http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UY4VTaWv1T...l+studio+4.jpg

Clay Sculpture Studio in Basement. Best Natural Light in the Building





http://www.theartstudentsleague.org/...WwI=&tabid=396


http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/153984934/original.jpg
http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/153984937/original.jpg

Hypothalamus Jan 8, 2014 8:00 PM

NY YIMBY:

217 West 57th Street
BY: NIKOLAI FEDAK ON JANUARY 8TH 2014 AT 12:00 PM

http://www.yimbynews.com/wp-content/...14/01/2171.jpg
217 West 57th Street, photo by Andrew McKeon

Quote:

The latest photo of excavation at 217 West 57th Street shows significant progress; the tower’s pit is now deeper than the excavators, though it still has a long ways to go.

NYguy Jan 8, 2014 9:30 PM

All remains quiet on the design front. I think that's a good thing. Meanwhile, I still don't know what happened at the Art Student's League. Extell would get an additional 6,000 sf to work with, an extra penthouse perhaps?

King DenCity Jan 9, 2014 11:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tubeworm (Post 6398836)
NY YIMBY:

217 West 57th Street
BY: NIKOLAI FEDAK ON JANUARY 8TH 2014 AT 12:00 PM

http://www.yimbynews.com/wp-content/...14/01/2171.jpg
217 West 57th Street, photo by Andrew McKeon

So has the expected excavation period shortened?

NYguy Jan 10, 2014 11:47 PM

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/12/re...ealestate&_r=0

The Hangover
Cantilevered Buildings of New York



By ROBIN FINN
JAN. 10, 2014


Quote:

Casting a glance skyward in Manhattan these days may include the risk of beholding not sky but horizontal appendages that curve and jut outward from the sides of residential towers and hover like geometric mutants above the roofs of vertically challenged neighbors, inhabiting space once occupied by open air.

.....Small properties that wished to stay that way could sell their excess rights to developers, and piles of such transfers resulted in some very tall residential buildings, like One57, 845 United Nations Plaza and 432 Park Avenue. But why stop at building taller, when the opportunity presents itself to build wider via extensions into a neighbor’s unused airspace?

.....The Extell Development Company has plans for the air, too. Its tower at 225 West 57th Street is to cantilever above an 1890s landmark, the Art Students League, to accommodate a 1,423-foot residential tower anchored by New York City’s first Nordstrom department store.

Still, whether the cantilevers boldly sprouting all over town are marvels of architectural and engineering ingenuity or capricious eyesores inflicted by developers remains in the eye of the beholder.

The Nordstrom cantilever (Extell’s first) passed muster with the Landmarks Preservation Commission after Gary Barnett, Extell’s president, testified that it was an essential element of the design. One dissenting commissioner, however, referred to it as a gimmick.

“Cantilevers are being done around the city, very often in nonlandmarked areas,” Mr. Barnett said, “because there are a lot of places with height limitations, and cantilevering can get you a better layout and a larger floor plate.”

“In our case,” he continued, “the constraint was that we needed to accommodate Nordstrom, which is used to a wide-open, suburban-style layout. It wasn’t critical to cantilever for the residential portion of the project, but we needed to give Nordstrom the largest possible floor plate, and as it turns out, the cantilever gives the apartments a bit better view shot, too.”


On top of the original $23 million it spent for air rights, Extell paid the league nearly $30 million for the privilege of adding the cantilever. “I wouldn’t call it a donation,” Mr. Barnett said, “but I guess I’m happy it will assist an important and historic arts institution in making a huge chunk of some sorely needed repairs.”

He added that the Nordstrom cantilever definitely wouldn’t be Extell’s last. Other developers are on the same wavelength.

Submariner Jan 11, 2014 12:13 AM

So it looks like this tower will be built over the Art League building? Too bad - the design sucks IMO.

I'd feel awfully nervous in a high tower with what amounts to nothing under a quarter of it. I'm sure there is some incredible engineering going into this building, but still, it would be a bit hard to swallow. Then again, I don't have millions of dollars so it's not a problem I have to worry about.

NYguy Jan 11, 2014 12:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Submariner (Post 6402312)
So it looks like this tower will be built over the Art League building? Too bad - the design sucks IMO.


And Extell says the cantilever definitely won't be its last. I do know that they withdrew the plan for a cantilever over a church on the east side. But other than that, it looks like more on the way from Extell.

Anway, full excavation should be underway now.


http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/Jo...ssdocnumber=02

Quote:

PLANS FILED FOR SUPPORT OF EXCAVATION FOR ENTIRE SITE IN CONJUNCTION WITH NB 121328205

supertallchaser Jan 11, 2014 1:00 AM

To be honest I do not like cantilevers but one every now in then is unique ,but for them to spring up like they have been kinda ruins the taste for them,but i'm going to like the building no matter what.

Submariner Jan 11, 2014 1:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NYguy (Post 6402318)
And Extell says the cantilever definitely won't be its last. I do know that they withdrew the plan for a cantilever over a church on the east side. But other than that, it looks like more on the way from Extell.

Anway, full excavation should be underway now.


http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/Jo...ssdocnumber=02

That is too bad. Still, it's good to see excavation work well underway here.

NYguy Jan 13, 2014 10:05 PM

Stop work order issued...among the first of many most likely.


http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/Ov...key=0001704751

Quote:

FAIL TO SAFEGUARD ALL P&P DURING CONSTRUCTION OPERATION AND SITE SAFETY MANAGER REPORTED WORKER WAS SPRAYED IN THE FACE CAUSING INJURY TO ONE WORKER


http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/Ov...key=0001704553

Quote:

SSM REPORTED A VALVE BROKE ON A MACHINE CAUSING WATER TO SPRAY, INJURING ONE WORKER

(SITE CONDITIONS ENDANGERING WORKERS)


All has been resolved.

Tectonic Jan 15, 2014 7:58 PM

The glass I think can make or break this one on the skyline. Gotta be a way to make it less brutal. Rounded edges maybe a la 50 West?

http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/153030225/large.jpg

King DenCity Jan 15, 2014 8:13 PM

I think I could deal with the tower if it had a more consistent base. (Less random boxes)

wilfredo267 Jan 19, 2014 5:11 PM

Things have been very quiet it seems with regards to the design since the cantilever reveal. l'm hoping this means that they will come out with some serious blockbuster revisions including its original 1,550 height because of the Steinway and 220 reveals.

Design-mind Jan 19, 2014 5:31 PM

How much of a deviation from the original cantilever design can we expect given all the time and money they have poured into this design, and the point in the development stage they are at?

Dac150 Jan 19, 2014 6:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Design-mind (Post 6413244)
How much of a deviation from the original cantilever design can we expect given all the time and money they have poured into this design, and the point in the development stage they are at?

Design alterations can happen at any point in time as needed and or desired - we see this happen all the time with projects in New York and elsewhere.

NYguy Jan 20, 2014 7:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Design-mind (Post 6413244)
How much of a deviation from the original cantilever design can we expect given all the time and money they have poured into this design, and the point in the development stage they are at?

The cantilver, for sure, will be there. Any major changes would most likely be at the top. There could also be some improvement at the street level with the actual Nordstrom.



January 19, 2014


http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/154188143/original.jpg



http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/154188144/original.jpg

Guiltyspark Jan 21, 2014 7:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by King DenCity (Post 6407918)
I think I could deal with the tower if it had a more consistent base. (Less random boxes)

Well good news then, the base will be hidden by other skyscrapers. You will only see the top 50% of this building most of the time.

NYguy Jan 21, 2014 8:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Guiltyspark (Post 6415377)
Well good news then, the base will be hidden by other skyscrapers. You will only see the top 50% of this building most of the time.

That's like saying one building is taller than another because you will only see it from a certain angle most of the time. To be fully appreciated, you need to be up close to the building, as other towers tend to block the views of skyscrapers in Manhattan, even some of the tallest. With the Tower Verre, for example, it's not just the top of the building you want to see. New York is known for its street level activity, and how this building meets the street is very important. It's the face of the building most people who visit the tower will see, and obviously enter. The base of the Freedom Tower is mocked often because of it's "bunker-like" design, even though it's not the base you see on the skyline (that's another story). But even that building is excused to a certain degree. A tower on a busy street in Midtown? They need to get it right.


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