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Old Posted Feb 12, 2007, 12:58 AM
soleri soleri is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,239
The appeal of a lot of modernist architecture escape me, so I'm a little surprised how a recladding of some high-rise really generates so much controversy. Still, it does seem that everything eventually comes around again. A lot of midcentury modern archtitecture is now the stuff of preservationist passions. I grew up with the stuff and never thought anything about it until recently. 50s architecture now strikes me as beautiful, evocative and disciplined. The buildings tend to be quite well-proportioned and sited. Then in the 60s, the neo-classicism movement surfaced. Led by Edward Durrell Stone, among others. The Huntington Hartford building, like the Kennedy Center, just seems like kitsch.

But an artifact is an artifact, and I'd just as soon keep the original than gussy it up in something we'll probably all hate in a few years. Is the Verizon Building such an artifact? I don't see it but others do. NYC, however, has so much of this stuff that I wonder whether this particular one is worth worrying about. I'm more concerned about those buildings that we could never duplicate for reasons of cost and now-absent construction skills. Hotels Drake and Pennsylsvania may not be stunningly original or unique, but they define a city much better than glass boxes. Lose enough of them, and the city weakens dramatically.
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