The tallest building north of 60th street will soon debut in East Harlem, part of a massive project that would redevelop an entire block between Second and First Avenue. In an unprecedented move, the extraordinary height of the development is possible largely because of the transfer of air rights from a park.
Lovers of the Upper East Side know that beauty comes in miniature streetscapes. We don’t have the panoramic vistas of the Grand Canyon (although Park Avenue does offer a splendid long view) . What we do have is great beauty, culture and peace in contained areas. The block of East 70th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues, is one such gem.
The argument has become tiresome. To make themselves “affordable,” so-called elite cities must plow down their old neighborhoods for new forests of sterile towers. To argue otherwise is to open one to charges of NIMBYism. In our opinion, the people who live in these places have every right to influence what does and what does not go in their backyard.
The violence in Charlottesville and President Trump’s painfully divisive response have ignited outrage across the country and prompted Mayor De Blasio to order a review of “all symbols of hate on city property.” Now, that debate has made its way to a statue where the Upper East Side meets East Harlem.
Prominent in the local Palm Beach news are stories about how many major and minor charity events—count ‘em 22 to date—have decamped from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, including the generally acknowledged social event of the year: The Red Cross Ball.
Strolling down a city block, you wouldn’t think twice about the price tag empty space can command. But in New York City, vertical real estate space is the cash cow for developers looking to build higher and higher on the backs of our neighborhoods. The transfer of air rights has been slowly altering the city skyline for decades, and for now we’re only going to see more of the same.
It was a dark and stormy night. So runs the classic opening line of the worst of all possible novels. Well, in Manhattan it may be a dark and stormy day. Who knows what shadows lurk in the streets of Manhattan? The New York Times knows.