The Hotel Pennsylvania and Repeating a Huge Mistake
(click photo, Arrow keys)
Built in 1919 by the Pennsylvania Railroad across from their magnificent station, the Hotel Pennsylvania was designed by the famous “starchitects” McKim, Mead & White. Turned into The Statler Hilton in 1954, the lobby was remuddled with the latest modern design tastes of the day.
After the initial shock upon entering the hotel lobby, you start to realize how amazing these intact mid-century modern interiors are. The lighting just needs a little professional help.
Despite its direct historic connection with the demolished Penn Station across the avenue, NYC Leaders have approved demolition and Vornado Realty Trust is insisting their new building be the tallest edifice within a 1000 foot radius. The glass box will be just 50 feet shorter than the Empire State Building and less than two blocks away.
But the new building’s upper floors are much larger so 15 Penn Plaza will appear taller from most views around the City. By the way, exactly where is the Plaza? It will not replace the Empire State Building but rather make it much less relevant. Like with 9/11, the world-famous NYC skyline will be forever changed. That’s Progre$$. Think of the money someone well-connected could make building a gated community in the underdeveloped Sheep Meadow.
Bloomy’s push along with the NYC Landmarks Preservation Co-Mission denied landmark status so Vornado can demolish the historic hotel and build yet another imported glass tower the same height as it is distant from the Empire State Building. Maybe the next mayor will campaign to stop these bad decisions.
There’s nothing unusual about the height of 15 Penn Plaza, the problem is that it will forever change one of the most famous skylines in the World. Why not demolish one of those hideous 1960s tower boxes Downtown and build your profit pile there? They are full of asbestos.
It would be unthinkable to put something like this next to the Eiffel Tower or even the Space Needle, but some New Yorkers think money is the only driver in their city. The GE Building at Rockefeller Center has 2 more floors than 15 Penn Plaza but is 350 feet shorter! It makes you shake your head.
The worst part about this exercise is that Cesar Pelli’s design isn’t even original. You can find various versions of The Pelli Pike in Charlotte, Hong Kong, and San Francisco.
What exactly is the point of destroying another truly unique and historical New York Landmark and its bankable skyline for… what?! So a couple of billionaires can make billions more?
This blog attempts to cover all things design related in the NYC area but also includes transportation, development politics, and some rather opinionated commentary from time to time including recommended restaurants and other current topics, all absolutely free as your gift to keep.
Questions are welcomed but the overwhelming International Success of NY by dZine makes it impossible to respond to everyone. Be sure to click on the photos for full size viewing.
The San Remo Apartments along Central Park West, designed by the apartment fortress architect, Emery Roth and was finished in the early 1930s. Home to innumerable celebrities throughout the decades. It still is the place to live in NYC for many people.