(5 Pointz Follies, 22-24 Jackson Ave. Queens. Renderings by HTO Architect)
The Urban Critic: There is bad design, and then there is offensive design. In the case of the 5 Pointz Follies, this proposal crosses both lines. In the context of building Big in a Big City, a higher level of expectation must be set for our Next Generation of Urban Spaces.
The location of this
2 dimensional cartoon extrusion proposed pair of buildings was once the renowned nexus of graffiti artists, whom came from around the world to practice their art. The old, colorful industrial warehouse that displayed the works of experimental artists were left in a raw state of decay; A 3 dimensional canvas of Urban expression. More recently, this canvas was decommissioned and turned over to the Forces of Change currently sweeping through Our City. These forces, now coined as Hyper-Gentrification, have had mixed results, though oftentimes more negative, across the vastness which comprises our Cityscape. Issues such as class displacement, societal segregation and political favoritism rear their ugly head; In Form, they appear as “cartoon set” facades, lacking real depth or interest. There is little to no intrigue in this new format of the Big Box Manhattan Development.
As mentioned in Gordon’s prior post The Beasts of The Westside, lamenting the loss of an entire Westside block in Chelsea, this type of development will continue to blast New York’s core with empty “Streets of Nothingness”, similar to America’s suburban strip retail corridors of Same-Ness; Buildings that can be anywhere, lacking in identity or connection to place. The 5 Pointz Follies, a rendering without context, is a development lost in this blank Void.
(The Graffiti Mecca that was once 5 Pointz, Queens, New York. Demolished 2014)
Gordon’s Urban Morphology continues to take the position that the largest developments in Our City require the greatest attention to detail. These houses of High-Rise Cards deserve a public process of opinion which contributes to better communities, as the Hyper-Gentrification process continues unabated. Such processes have been successful in cities like Boston, where the built environment is viewed as an artifact. An artifact that is expected to improve over time and with age; as people have been given the chance to participate in the melding of their Urban Space.
Our Metropolis has become complacent when it comes to developers and their steamrolling of our City’s history. This unabated process continuing must be disrupted in a manner which allows for a space, perhaps a counter-forum, where Expression as Activism in the interest of maintaining our Sacred places can gain traction against Big Developers, and their Plastic Towers rising throughout Any-City, USA.
David Wolkoff Developer
YIMBY (Pro-New York Crushing Development, Regardless of what it is)
22-24 Jackson Avenue