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NYguy Nov 7, 2007 1:12 PM

NEW YORK | Television City | 1,910' Pinnacle / 1,670' Roof | 150 FLOORS | NEVER BUILT
Remembering one of Donald Trump's 1980's proposals, and how times have changed....,00.html
And Now, the Tallest of the Tall

Tuesday, Jun. 21, 2005

The plan does have a certain breathtaking screwball grandeur, like some '30s movie written by Bertolt Brecht and directed by Preston Sturges. Donald Trump, the young multimillionaire real estate developer, owns 100 vacant acres of Hudson River waterfront just northwest of midtown Manhattan, a parcel that he characteristically calls "the greatest piece of urban land in America--the greatest piece of land in the world."

One hundred acres! In one spot in Manhattan!

At the center of that plot, the developer announced last week, he intends to put up the world's tallest building, an office and apartment tower shooting up 1,670 ft., or 216 ft. higher than the Sears Tower in Chicago. One-third of a mile high! Not only that, but between now and the end of the century Trump plans to build another six tall apartment houses on the site, more than 70 stories apiece, as well as a pair of mammoth office buildings, one meant for a television network. Wow!

Wait, there's more. All nine buildings will sit amid 40 acres of grass and trees, parkland to be hauled piece by piece into the city and up onto the roof of a six-story, 13-block-long building. Inside that vast, quasi-subterranean space will be 13 acres of TV studios, underground parking for thousands of cars, and an enormous shopping mall. The whole multibillion-dollar shebang, called Television City, must get approval from two separate city boards, a process that could take a year. If Trump is successful, his enclave will be the most ambitious urban project of its kind since Rockefeller Center went up half a century ago.

With its well-proportioned central plaza and carefully orchestrated densities, however, Rockefeller Center is a clear descendant of classic cities, coherent and comfortably urban. The proposed Television City is--what? Towers in a park, sui generis, chess pieces (six pawns, a king, a bishop, a rook) that have slid off the board. Although Architect Helmut Jahn has designed only the basic shapes, sizes and placement of his buildings, it seems clear from the plans and model that it would be an unfamiliar species of urban place, awesome and a little spooky. The ballfield-size spaces between the triplet building clusters and the central megatower look awkwardly large, making the radical change of scale even more unsettling.

From its spiffy name to its extravagant scope, nearly everything about Television City has an odd retro quality. The project seems inspired by a Believe It or Not sensibility, the equation of freakish size and glamour that plays well these days only in Las Vegas. Sure, sipping a martini at sunset 150 stories up would be swell--once or twice. But Trump, a man entranced by superlatives, seems not to realize that few people any longer share his obsession with building a still taller tallest skyscraper.

People who live near Trump's site worry about the prospect of shadows, of crowded subways and buses. Yet Television City does not really seem so disruptive. The site, a defunct rail yard, is empty land; urban renewal rendered most of the adjoining blocks charmless years ago. Moreover, 8,000 new apartments should channel some of the gentrifying development pressure away from fragile Manhattan neighborhoods. The rooftop acreage is ingenious: the park will be above the elevated highway that runs along the Hudson, allowing pedestrians unimpeded views and a sense of riverfront connection.

Jahn and Trump have passed up a much greater opportunity, however: the chance to create an intricately woven place, a true city within a city, complete with streets, courtyards, a variety of building types, maybe even a sense of community. The land is so vast and comparatively cheap (Trump paid $1 million an acre, vs. the $26 million an acre paid for a midtown block at the same time) that high-rise construction is surely not, for once, the only practical option. But the pair will take the easy way out, designing housing wholesale. What about all the new passengers added to overburdened mass transit? Says Trump airily: "We'll renovate a couple of subway stations, et cetera, et cetera." Planners of housing for the poor realized years ago that isolated high-rise flats foster a dangerous anomie. Condo buyers may be unlikely to join street gangs, but Television City will be an interesting experiment: extreme swank and large-scale alienation, together for the first time.

The match of developer and designer is apt. Jahn's work tends to be glossy, imposing and a little martial, the architectural equivalent of Wagner played on a synthesizer at full blast. He is the Donald Trump of his field, a showman enthralled by sheer size. "We are doing the tallest building in Houston," says Jahn, "the tallest building in Philadelphia, the tallest building in Europe." He arrived from West Germany 19 years ago, at age 26; at 33 he was partner and design director of C.F. Murphy Associates in Chicago; at 43 he was owner and chief executive officer of Murphy/Jahn. Today, employing 100 architects, Jahn has five buildings under construction in Manhattan. Other projects are under way or just finished in Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Johannesburg.

Jahn embraces the technology of high-rise modernism, but he loves to fold glass curtain walls into more or less old-fashioned building shapes, monumental moderne. His recent designs are plainly derivative of skyscrapers from the Golden Age. The Television City office tower, for instance, is a nice-looking relative of the General Electric building in New York City (1931) and the Tribune Tower in Chicago (1925); the three slabs just south of the 150-story spire are like slightly squished Empire States. How come? No reason in particular. "These are not meant to be 'New York buildings,'" says Jahn. "What is a New York building?" Anyway, he adds, "architecture at the end is irrational, very intuitive. It's a matter of feeling 'That's what I want to do.'"

NYguy Nov 7, 2007 1:16 PM

Original and later proposal...

Stephenapolis Nov 7, 2007 1:18 PM

I always liked the original plan. Too bad it was never built.

NYguy Nov 7, 2007 1:25 PM


Trump was far from the first suitor for the site. The first development proposal was made by Penn Central itself in 1962, during the development- and union-friendly Wagner administration. Penn Central wanted to partner with the Amalgamated Lithographers Union to build a mixed-use development, Litho City, on platforms over the trains.

In 1969, the New York City Educational Construction Fund proposed a 12,000-unit residential development that went nowhere during the indifferent Lindsay administration. In 1975, the year of New York City’s brush with bankruptcy, Donald Trump optioned the site and proposed the same thing--12,000 apartments. None of the three proposals was truly serious.

Then in 1980, the Macri Group, who came to be known locally as the Argentines, optioned the site, and quickly proposed Lincoln West--a 7.3-million-square-foot project with 4,300 residential units. They were serious. They got the necessary rezoning in 1982 from the Koch administration. But they then failed to get financing, and lost the site.

In January 1985, Donald Trump bought the site for $100 million in partnership with Al Hirschfield--who had also been a partner with the Argentines--and proposed a 16.5-million-square-foot project, Television City, designed by architect Helmut Jahn. It included the world’s tallest building at 152 stories. Trump hoped to entice NBC to move in as prime tenant. Outraged West Siders and civic groups, which had been active but relatively polite regarding Lincoln West, organized immediately in opposition.

In late 1986 Trump proposed a new 14.5-million-square-foot project, with 7,600 apartments in 60- and 70-story towers, and a regional shopping mall. This time his architect was Alex Cooper, who had been the lead architect for Battery Park City’s master plan and who was well-regarded by nearly everybody, including the good government groups. But Cooper’s reputation didn’t diminish West Side outrage, and opposition to the project’s size swelled.

Mayor Koch aligned himself with the community opposition, and said he would oppose any project larger than 7.4 million square feet, the old Lincoln West size. He also rejected out of hand Trump’s request for zoning waivers and a $1 billion tax abatement to attract NBC. An uneasy NBC announced in 1987 that it would not be moving to Television City.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s finances worsened into near bankruptcy. In 1990 the banks restructured his $2 billion in loans, and deferred payments on his $200-million loan for the Penn Yards project, which he began calling Trump City. But the banks urged him to produce a workable, buildable plan.

Everybody knew that wasn’t going to happen without community cooperation.


Meanwhile, a coalition of civic groups led by the Municipal Art Society, that had been suing to stop the project, riveted Trump’s attention. They were willing to see a much smaller project go forward. From his banks’ point of view, a smaller project was better than none at all. As the late Linda Davidoff, then Parks Council executive director, said, “The Riverside South project is going to test whether civic initiative can cut through the gridlock in the development process that has come about.”

In March 1991 Trump and the coalition of civics, which also included the Parks Council, Regional Plan Association, Riverside Park Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Westpride, agreed to reduce the project’s size by 40% to 8.3 million square feet. The buildings would range from 30 to 40 stories, and the waterfront park would cover 23 acres. Design standards would impose variations among the towers, and the street plan would respect the existing West Side grid. In exchange, the civic groups promised to usher the Trump proposal through the land use review process.

And indeed they did. Despite the disapproval of Community Board 7, the project was almost immediately approved by the City Planning Commission and by Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger. The project passed the City Council in December 1992. Still, construction didn’t begin until the spring of 1997. The first building was finished in 1998, and six buildings are completed today.

NYguy Nov 7, 2007 1:26 PM


Originally Posted by Stephenapolis (Post 3151263)
I always liked the original plan. Too bad it was never built.

I think a piece of me died with that one...:)

NYguy Nov 7, 2007 1:43 PM


October 31, 1987

A possible deal to move the NBC-TV studios to Donald J. Trump's proposed Television City project on the Upper West Side fell through yesterday, according to the network and Mr. Trump.

Executives at NBC and in Mr. Trump's organization said NBC had decided against moving to Television City because NBC expected widespread opposition to the huge project and because its costs would rise if Mr. Trump was forced to scale back his plans.

With the Television City agreement scrapped, it was unclear whether NBC, one of the best-known corporate tenants in the city, would find quarters outside New York.

The competition to attract the network has become a symbol to many officials and executives of the struggle by New York City to retain corporate headquarters and the emergence of New Jersey, where the network is considering several sites, as a leading business center.

''NBC will not be part of Television City,'' the president of the network, Robert C. Wright, said. He added that NBC would pursue options in New Jersey and New York City.

The Deputy Mayor for Finance and Economic Development, Alair A. Townsend, said last night that she was confident NBC could be persuaded to remain at its headquarters in the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center.

Officials have been negotiating intensely with the network, which is seeking tax breaks, reduced energy costs and other ways to reduce operating costs.

Ms. Townsend said the city had offered NBC reductions in real-estate taxes and energy costs if it stayed at Rockefeller Center, but she declined to say how large the subsidies might be, adding that City Hall had its limits.

In City More Than 50 Years

''If they want to be at a premier midtown location, there is no way we make their costs comparable to an undeveloped tract outside the city,'' Ms. Townsend said, referring to sites NBC has been looking at in New Jersey.

In an interview, the NBC vice president of facilities and operations, Henry S. Kanegsberg, said the network would ''make the decision between New York and New Jersey over the next month or month and a half.''

The network has had its headquarters for more than 50 years in Rockefeller Center, where it occupies 1.2 million square feet of office and studio space. The lease for NBC, a subsidiary of General Electric, ends in 1997.

''We are willing to accept the space we have here,'' Mr. Kanegsberg said, adding that the network, which has studios and other operations in Brooklyn and Queens, would find ways to augment its headquarters space, if a deal can be struck with city officials. He said the options under serious consideration included five sites in New Jersey.

Trump Plans to Proceed

They are the Hackensack Meadowlands in Secaucus; the Newport development along the Hudson River in Jersey City; the Colgate site, another Jersey City waterfront property, where a new commercial complex is planned to replace a factory; Harborside, a Jersey City waterfront complex under construction, and a waterfront site in Weehawken owned by Hartz Mountain Industries, a major developer in the Meadowlands.

Mr. Trump said yesterday that he planned to proceed with Television City, even without NBC. In a letter to Mr. Wright, he said he would use the space he had planned for the NBC studios to attract other tenants in the television or motion-picture industries.

The developer also said he might dedicate the space allotted to NBC for a restaurant and amusement area that he compared to Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. In an interview, Mr. Trump said that 10 to 20 acres of the waterfront site would be landscaped areas for the public, but that an entrance fee might be charged.

Television City, which Mr. Trump proposed more than two years ago, would cover 76 acres of abandoned railroad yards along the Hudson from 59th to 72d Street. The developer plans the world's tallest building - 150 floors of offices and apartments - and other structures that would include 7,600 apartments, a large shopping mall, a parking garage and a hotel.

Trump to Begin Hearings

The proposal, along with a plan by Mortimer B. Zuckerman for two office towers at Columbus Circle, is prompting widespread concern on the Upper West Side. Mr. Zuckerman's plan, approved by the Board of Estimate, has been the subject of suits and community protests.

An executive of the Trump Organization, who requested anonymity, said NBC had walked away from Television City largely because it feared a storm of community protest in the months ahead. With a preliminary environmental impact statement on the project submitted to the city, Mr. Trump and his lawyers will soon begin hearings on the plans.

A neighborhood group, Westpride, plans to raise $500,000 to hire lawyers and engineers to challenge the plan. The group has recieved support from prominent New Yorkers, including Bill D. Moyers, the television commentator, and the authors Robert Caro, Betty Friedan and Judith Rossner.

Mr. Kanegsberg of NBC said the opposition had been a factor in the decision to pull out. ''We certainly have taken notice,'' he said.

But, he said, the most important factor had been economics. He would not say how much NBC had expected to pay for its offices, which were to have taken 10 percent of the space in Television City. But, he added, the cost would have been higher if the city did not approve Mr. Trump's proposal to develop the 76-acre tract as planned.

''The economics of this transaction,'' Mr. Kanegsberg said, ''were tied to the entire area's being developed.''

NYguy Nov 7, 2007 1:45 PM

Donald Trump's Circus, and Bread

November 9, 1987

After an ardent 18-month courtship, Donald Trump has failed to win the hand of NBC as owner-tenant for 10 acres of his dramatic 76-acre development proposed for Manhattan's West Side. That adds urgency to efforts by Mayor Koch and Governor Cuomo to keep NBC in New York, the way they have now succeeded in keeping the Dreyfus Corporation. And it leaves Mr. Trump wondering what to do with the 10-acre site now.

One of his ideas is an amusement park modeled on Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. While that might be an appealing circus, New Yorkers are better off with bread.

Mr. Trump's proposed development fronts on the Hudson River, from 59th to 72d Streets; it's the largest remaining vacant site in Manhattan. Here is where Mr. Trump wants to build the world's tallest building, and much else: 7,600 luxury apartments, a 750-room hotel, a 1.3 million square foot shopping mall, office space, 14 acres of parkland and open space and 7,300 parking spaces.

The project raises difficult issues of density, transit and traffic, air quality and shadows.

What should now be done with the ex-NBC site? One of Mr. Trump's suggestions is for a Tivoli-on-the-Hudson, and that inspires visions. Imagine a park and playground, with strings of winking, colored lights outlining minarets and ferris wheels. Think of New Yorkers on a soft summer night strolling among the musicians, mimes, acrobats and tight-rope walkers. Picture the hydrofoils zipping in from New Jersey and Westchester. Such an enterprise rings with the sound of Donald Trump, the showman-entrepreneur.

But wait. Vision is to be prized, but at the moment, New York desperately needs something more mundane: affordable housing. And if Mr. Trump is a showman-entrepreneur, he is also a master builder. He could enhance that reputation by making those 10 acres a showplace for low- and moderate-income housing. In the process, he could soften the controversy that has already arisen over his project and earn needed political support.

Mr. Trump could lease the land for a dollar a year to a nonprofit agency with housing management experience. The city could finance a thousand or more units on the site. Then the Trump Organization, not the city, could undertake the construction, perhaps with the help of imaginative architects. In 1986, Donald Trump built an ice skating rink for New York faster and cheaper than the city could. Now, he could benefit his ambition, and the public, by exchanging one vision for another.

A park of soft pleasures on summer nights tantalizes the imagination but houses no citizens. An imaginative array of homes for lower-income New Yorkers would create a consummate example of doing well by doing good.

NYguy Nov 7, 2007 1:51 PM

Squealing and Shouting Over NBC

May 30, 1987

Donald Trump, the real estate entrepreneur, angrily demanded New York Mayor Koch's resignation. The Mayor, relishing the challenge, declared that ''If Donald Trump is squealing like a stuck pig, I must have done something right.'' Behind the raised voices lies the tense, high-stakes negotiation over the National Broadcasting Company's need for a new home. Thoughtful New Yorkers will side with Mr. Koch.

Eighteen months ago, the communications and entertainment giant stunned City Hall by announcing that it might move its headquarters and production studios from Rockefeller Center to New Jersey. Now it is also considering space in nine acres of Mr. Trump's proposed 76-acre Television City, on the Upper West Side, or remaining in a renovated headquarters in Rockefeller Center.

Mr. Trump hopes to make NBC his anchor tenant. Sensing the city's panic at the thought of another major corporation moving out of the city, he requested deep tax subsidies in order to secure NBC as a tenant. But he would have the subsidies apply well beyond nine acres. He first asked the city to waive real estate taxes for 30 years on the entire 76 acres, which would include 7,600 housing units and the world's tallest building. Now he wants a real estate tax waiver on the NBC portion for 30 years, and on the rest of the site for 20 years. He offers the city a 25 percent share of potential profits over a 40-year period.

The Mayor's response that aroused Mr. Trump's anger was directed to NBC, rather than to him. The city, Mr. Koch said, would make available a 15-year tax abatement on newly constructed office space, which would decrease annually after occupancy. The network would also be granted a standard 22-year tax abatement on its production and recording studios. This proposal would apply to the Trump site or any other in the city. The Mayor also offered a favorable tax package for remaining in a renovated Rockefeller Center headquarters.

The Mayor's terms reflect a reasonable response. The city offer is comparable, for example, to terms offered Shearson Lehman Brothers in order to keep the financial services company in the city. To accept Mr. Trump's terms, even as scaled down, would set a precedent that the city can't possibly afford. It is of extraordinary importance to the city to keep NBC from moving out. But to do so in a way that sacrifices so much revenue genuinely threatens the future of the city that both Mr. Trump and Mayor Koch cherish.

NYguy Nov 7, 2007 1:56 PM


May 30, 1987

Donald J. Trump said yesterday that he had offered to share 25 percent of the profits on his proposed Television City development with New York City for 40 years, in return for a 20-year tax abatement on the multimillion-dollar complex.

The Koch administration announced Thursday that it had ruled out special tax and zoning concessions for the entire 100-acre site on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. In their public statements Thursday, however, neither Mr. Trump nor city officials divulged details of their negotiations.

City officials involved in the negotiations said then that they had collapsed because Mr. Trump was demanding too many concessions.

According to Mr. Trump, the city officials with whom he had negotiated a tentative agreement on May 21 were unable to convince the Mayor and his top fiscal advisers to accept the plan. The developer asserted that the city's Budget Director, Paul L. Dickstein, ''started telling Koch, 'Well, I think I can negotiate a better deal.' ''

''I realized it immediately - ah, these jerks - these guys were all second-guessing the economic development people,'' Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Koch said in an interview yesterday that none of his top fiscal advisers had approved the proposed deal, which would have enabled Mr. Trump to subsidize an extremely low rent to NBC, which is considering moving to Mr. Trump's site along the Hudson River, between 59th and 72d Streets.

''Nobody signed off on the deal, not Abe Biderman, Paul Dickstein, Alair or me,'' the Mayor said. Abraham Biderman is the city's Finance Commissioner and Alair A. Townsend is the Deputy Mayor for Finance and Economic Development.

Mr. Koch also said that, after the negotiations on May 21, Mr. Trump tried to pressure him in telephone conversations to agree quickly to the proposal.

''He said, 'You've got to make a decision,' '' Mr. Koch said. ''He said, 'I can taste the deal in my mouth.' His thrust was, 'Today, Today.' That's the way he operates, that he becomes so overbearing that people capitulate.''

The Mayor said he refused to make a quick decision over the Memorial Day weekend. ''I said, 'I am not going to be rushed into making a panicked decision to spend city money,' '' Mr. Koch said.

Last Tuesday, Mr. Trump wrote a blistering letter to the Mayor, accusing him of playing ''Russian roulette with perhaps the most important corporation in New York over the relatively small amounts of money involved, because you and your staff are afraid that Donald Trump may actually make more than a dollar of profit.''

On the same day, before he had received Mr. Trump's letter, Mr. Koch said, he had come to the conclusion that he could not accept the proposal. He said he could not allow the city to accept a portion of Television City's profits, in part because it was uncertain how much money the city would eventually receive.

''I will not take unreasonable risks with the public's tax dollars,'' Mr. Koch wrote Thursday to Mr. Trump.

Mr. Koch also suggested yesterday that to have accepted the proposal would have tied him personally into the public-approval process for the entire Trump development. ''The profit is something that would have committed us to having become his agent'' before the Board of Estimate and other city boards that will eventually rule on Mr. Trump's plan for the site, he said.

Mr. Trump also offered an alternative plan to the city last week, according to a person familiar with the developer's proposals.

The second plan, which was rejected immediately by city officials, called for Mr. Trump to give the city one-sixth of the buildable land at the site, and for the city to negotiate incentives with NBC and to build the network a new home. Under the plan, Mr. Trump would have received only the prestige of having NBC at the site.

NYguy Nov 7, 2007 2:03 PM

Opponents Seek Draft of Reports On Trump Plan

September 22, 1987

Battle lines were being drawn yesterday over Donald J. Trump's proposed Television City project as community organizations on the West Side of Manhattan demanded immediate access to draft environmental reports on the project.

''There is significant opposition,'' , said Councilwoman Ruth W. Messinger, Democrat of Manhattan, during a news conference at City Hall to protest the refusal of the Department of City Planning to turn over preliminary environmental documents.

In an interview, Mr. Trump said the environmental impact statement on Television City, one of the largest real-estate developments ever planned in New York City, is ''just about complete.'' He added that it was ''up to the city'' whether the report would be distributed to neighborhood groups.

Plan Intact

The developer said he had not scaled down his plans for the property. If the project is approved, Mr. Trump said it would have the world's tallest building - 150 floors - and other structures that would include 7,600 apartments, a large shopping area, a hotel and hundreds of offices on 76 acres of the Hudson River waterfront, from 59th Street to 72d Street.

Central to Mr. Trump's plan is his effort to lure NBC to new offices and studios in Television City. The network, which has its headquarters in Rockefeller Center, has said it is considering several sites in New Jersey as well as the Trump project.

Mr. Trump said yesterday that he had not received any commitments from NBC, but that negotiations were ''going well.'' And even without NBC as a tenant, he added that he expected to proceed with ''100 percent'' of the Television City plan.

At City Hall, Ms. Messinger said policies of the planning department should be changed to allow community boards and other neighborhood organizations easier access to environmental impact documents. The public is usually allowed to review environmental impact reports in final form and is given 60 days to comment. But Ms. Messinger said that was insufficient time in which to analyze and prepare suggestions on projects of the magnitude of Television City.

Planners Defend Actions

Planning officials said preliminary environmental impact reports are not disclosed to allow a period of confidential review by engineers and other experts.

''The process anticipates a period of isolation when scientists and engineers can do their thing outside the public eye,'' said William Valletta, counsel for the Department of City Planning.

Nonetheless, he added that he expected Community Board 7, which represents the West Side from 59th Street to 110th Street, to have access to the draft environmental impact studies before the end of this week. The panel has filed a formal request for the documents under the Federal Freedom of Information Act.

Board 7, one of the city's best organized neighborhood organizations, has taken no formal position on Television City. Doris Rosenblum, district manager of the board, said it would wait to review the environmental documents before making its position known.

However, she added that there was widespread opposition to the project among West Side residents.

Other West Side groups said they were mounting campaigns to oppose approval of Mr. Trump's plan.

''It's the equivalent of creating a medieval walled city,'' said Bruce Simon, an attorney and member of West Pride, a group involved in West Side development issues. He said that the traffic generated by Television City, the huge number of new apartment dwellers and the magnitude of the buildings would severely overburden city services.

Others maintained that the city should restrict development of the West Side and encourage more commercial building in the boroughs outside Manhattan.

''Our position is that the city should keep nice neighborhoods nice and channel development to neighborhoods that need it,'' said Olive Freud, vice president of the Coalition for a Liveable West Side, a group of cooperative apartment boards and block associations.

Mr. Trump said the opponents are ''apparently opposed to progress.''

Dac150 Nov 7, 2007 5:01 PM

What could have been...........

Swede Nov 7, 2007 5:18 PM

To think NYC, while already friggin' amazing, could have had so may more really tall towers is mindblowing. Seeing that pic of the model of the first Television City proposal now makes me think of another big development somewhere else - Hong Kong's Union Square.

scalziand Nov 8, 2007 4:35 AM

Thank you nyguy for bringing us this blast from the past.

myshtern Nov 8, 2007 6:07 AM

What does the site look like now?

Fabb Nov 8, 2007 11:52 AM


Originally Posted by myshtern (Post 3153279)
What does the site look like now?

It looks like ... Trump Place :

John Hinds Nov 8, 2007 1:16 PM


GVNY Nov 8, 2007 1:43 PM

Aww, they are not that bad, are they?

They're decent.

Swede Nov 8, 2007 4:00 PM

IMO the buildings are ok. But the Westside Highway is a real eye-sore.

Dac150 Nov 8, 2007 7:59 PM


Originally Posted by Swede (Post 3153750)
IMO the buildings are ok. But the Westside Highway is a real eye-sore.

The West Side Highway actually use to be elevated like that all the way down to the WTC. That is the only remaining section that is still elevated. The were talks in the past to get rid of it, but thats not happening now.

NYguy Nov 8, 2007 9:42 PM

There was a plan to remove that porton of the highway away from the waterfront, but the costs led to it remaining in place.

This is actually the first major Manhattan development I followed. It was easy because I recieved information (photos, site plans, etc.) directly from the Trump Organization (sadly, those are all lost. The original plan was my favorite, and it looked better in the actual rendering, sort of horizontal, zebra striped, glass towers. The spire-shaped antenna in the original version went to 1,910 ft. Later versions went to 1,949 ft (with the tower itself topping 1,700 ft). Trump liked that the tower was slender. But there was major opposition. Eventually, the world's tallest plan had to be dropped.

I remember when the final plan was agreed upon with community groups, the organization took great pride in the accomplishment - they even sent copies of a review from the New York Times. While the designs of the towers have changed from the final planning, it's still pretty much the same.

Extell Development is currently in charge of building out the southern portion of the site, and we are waiting on those plans. Mayber something noteworthy will come of it...

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