The Peter Poon-designed hotel at 136 West 42nd Street is now climbing quickly, and is well on its way to its full 37-story height. Renderings of the tower actually aren’t that bad, considering Poon’s other recent work–it’s the kind of glassy box that typifies the ‘new’ Times Square. Per The Real Deal, the building will house a Hilton Garden Inn.
Unfortunately, 136 West 42nd sits adjacent to the Knickerbocker Hotel and the Bush Tower. At 37 stories, it will tower over both pre-war structures. New York certainly isn’t a museum city, but it would have been nice if Poon had incorporated some sort of homage or context into his design that respected these historic neighbors.
Luckily 136 West 42nd will actually help cover up one of the Bush Tower’s biggest flaws, which is its blank western-facing wall. The Bush Tower’s lot-line walls are mostly devoid of windows, but at least the blank walls are covered by bricks. Somenew buildings in the neighborhood have used heinous concrete.
On the other side of the Bush Tower, the finishing touches are going in on Blackstone’s new retail building. The low-rise structure and its adjacent plaza are inviting, unobtrusive, and will aid in the continued transformation of 42nd Street into a somewhat higher-end retail corridor.
136 West 42nd Street
136 West 42nd Street, and the Bush Tower. Knickerbocker Hotel at right.