Late last year, news broke that E&M Associates and Eiran Gazit were planning to build a 49,000-square-foot Times Square tourist attraction in part of the 12-story former New York Times Building, an individual landmark at 229 West 43rd Street and 216 West 44th Street (the north building is not landmarked), in Midtown. Now, the team has filed plans with the Department of Buildings for the project, dubbed Gulliver’s Gate, The Real Deal reports. The ground floor portion will include the reception and ticketing areas, as well as a gift shop, while the second will host the main exhibit. The project is expected to begin the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) shortly. It also requites exterior alterations to the 43rd Street side, which will need to be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Last November, the team signed a 15-year lease for part of the ground floor and the entire second floor of the building. Kushner Companies acquired the retail portion of the property, which also contains office space, in early 2015 for $296 million. If all goes as planned, completion can be expected in 2017. Stanley Wong’s SP WONG Architect is the architect of record.
On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a plan to relocate the entrance to the Paramount Building, an individual landmark at 1501 Broadway in Times Square, from Broadway on to West 43rd Street.
The long-vacant Times Square Theater, located at 217 West 42nd Street, between Seventh and Eighth avenues in Midtown, may have another chance to be used, according to the New York Post. Singapore-based Oracle Projects International, which produces and designs events, has reportedly leased the property. The former theater is overseen by the state’s Historic Preservation Committee as well as New 42nd St, a nonprofit that leases the theater (and five others) in a 99-year lease. In recent years, the building was leased twice with different reuse projects in mind, but both failed to come to fruition. The latest plan would likely include, at the very least, minor alterations to, or a restoration of, the existing building. The building’s interior and exterior were on the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s backlog, but were removed from the calendar without prejudice last month.
The year 2015 marked the near-complete demolition of Times Square’s second oldest structure. The Columbia Amusement Co. Building, which opened at Times Square’s northeast corner on West 47th Street in January 1910. 701 7th Avenue was known by a variety of names during its century-long life span. Like the slightly older yet much more famous One Times Square at the opposite end of the square, the building engaged in the neighborhood’s classic disappearing act, where giant billboards seen by millions made their renovation-scarred hosts all but invisible. But behind the ads, standing on a 16,000-square-foot lot, was a building with a history as dramatic and diverse as that of the famous square on which it stood.
In 2015, New York’s landmarks law turned 50 years old. Events and discussion panels were held across the city throughout the year. The Museum of the City of New York held the commemorative Saving Place exhibit. As YIMBY reported, six individual landmarks and four historic districts were designated during this period. However, last year also saw its fair share of demolitions. Here, we look back at a small selection from the dozens of buildings that met the wrecking ball over the course of 2015. These eight structures range from architectural masterpieces to eyesores and span across a variety of decades, styles, and uses – as diverse as the Big Apple’s built environment itself.
Last month, the leasehold interest of the 45-story, 468-key DoubleTree Suites hotel (by Hilton New York City – Times Square) was purchased for $540 million by Indianapolis-based Maefield Development, according to The Real Deal. The mixed-use building at 1568 Broadway, between West 46th and 47th Streets in Times Square, currently contains ground-floor retail space and the Palace Theatre, which was designated an interior landmark in 1987. Last November, YIMBY brought you news of the proposed retail and lobby expansions, and the restoration (and raising) of the Palace theater for entertainment purposes. The building is set to receive a significant overhaul, which includes the hotel portion as well as the installation of a new, state-of-the-art LED screen.