Sunday, December 23, 2007

The AY omission in the Times's architectural round-up

New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff's year-end round-up in today's paper, headlined Manhattan’s Year of Building Furiously, curiously omits mention of Atlantic Yards when it might have been expected.

After reflecting on the Robert Moses re-examination and the decline of architecture driven by the public realm, he writes:
Additionally, New York is about to embark on a handful of vast developments that could alter its character more than any projects since the 1960s. Twenty-five million square feet of commercial space is planned for Midtown. Madison Square Garden and the woeful Knicks may relocate to the site of the James A. Farley Post Office building, which was supposed to be a grand site for a new Penn Station. An enormous expansion of the Columbia University campus into Harlem has enraged local residents. And let’s not forget ground zero, a black hole of political posturing, cynical real estate deals and outright stupidity.

To date, there is little sign that intelligent design will play a major role in any of those projects. On the contrary, every revision heightens our creeping awareness that when serious money is at stake, business will be as usual.


Well, Atlantic Yards also could alter New York's character significantly. Did Ouroussoff hold off because he thinks the project might be further delayed? Was he limiting himself to Manhattan? Or was he exempting AY from the observation that, "when serious money is at stake, business will be as usual? (Perhaps not; he suggested as such, in his 6/4/06 overview of the project.)

Maybe he just ran out of space.

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