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Tuesday / December 12.
HomePosts Tagged "upper east side"

By David Brussat
 
In the morning of July 10, 2006, Dr. Nicholas Bartha, 66, took his own life by blowing up the townhouse he had resolved to live in until his death. The story of marital failure leading to lawsuits leading to the gas explosion is too sad to recount and beside the point of this post.  The lot at 34 East 62nd St., on one of Manhattan’s wealthiest blocks, has been empty for a decade. The battle to build anew has pitted preservationists against each other, and exposes the preservation ethos at its worst.The New York Times and The Architects Newspaper reported on the battle over the most recent design proposal.The controversy reminds me of the 1845 Greek Revival townhouse in Greenwich Village that was demolished during a 1970 attempt by the Weather Underground to build a bomb. It was replaced in 1978 by a quasi-modernist townhouse of brick, designed by Hugh Hardy in the same style except that its three bays seem to swivel on a vertical access so that half of it swings in on the building facade and the other half swings out. Really quite an interesting response to the site’s history, much more ingeniously creative than might be expected of a modernist. Lovely, in fact.

City Councilman Dan Garodnick has a hearing tomorrow to discuss the impact of Donald Trump’s presidency on our neighborhood. Basically, the cost and inconvenience of it all.

Unlike the area surrounding 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, midtown was designed to be a public grid. We have shops, offices and residents living there. Forcing several blocks around Trump Tower into periodic lockdown seems highly unreasonable.  It has already taken a toll on Tiffany’s, Gucci and other nearby Fifth Avenue merchants. Hence, the Christmas shopping season was painful