Among the numerous hulking eyesores in New York City, Two Penn Plaza manages to make a particularly negative impact, and its placement above Penn Station helps cement the latter’s status as an architectural failure. But now we have a first look at plans to transform the structure completely, created by Bjarke Ingels Group/BIG for developer Vornado.
Not everything happening on or near Billionaires’ Row is supertall. Some of it is supersmall, relatively speaking. Two months ago, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the restoration and renovation of an individual landmark in the midst of the coming towers. That gives us the perfect opportunity to tell you a little bit about Engine Company No. 23.
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.
Back in September, we told you about a competition to conceive a redesign of the MetLife Building. Earlier this week, the six finalists of the “Reimagine a New York City Icon” competition were announced. The competition, sponsored by Metals in Construction magazine and the Ornamental Metal Institute of New York, isn’t part of any actual process in the works to modify the Midtown office tower, but are fascinating ideas of what could be. Perhaps these ideas will be put into use at other buildings.
The stunningly tall towers rising along 57th Street are taking the Manhattan skyline to a whole new level. Despite their relatively small footprints, some projects are actually replacing true architectural gems. Between the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2016, the LeFrak Organization and Vornado Realty leveled three pre-war buildings at 27-33 West 57th Street. Although the latest reports indicated a “seven star hotel,” final plans are still unknown. Given the site’s Billionaires’ Row location and proximity to Central Park, whatever gets built will most likely be very tall, and very expensive.