(End Days of The Roseland Ballroom. New York, NY. March 2015. Image by Greg Gordon)
Like a Ghost Ship sailing through the bowels of Manhattan, the lurking hull of Roseland Ballroom awaits its final days. Urban Morphology as a passing moment in time, captured in still. Tomorrow Forgotten.
Memory Containers serve the greater population at large and create lasting imprints which are not visible in photographs, or the naked eye. The act of demolishing memory containers signifies the passage of time and also reminds us of the Impermanence of The City. The Urban Condition is a constantly malleable State, ebbing and flowing with the greater population & economics The Times. Or, perhaps that is just New York?
This Urban Condition, A Memory Container destroyed, paves the way for a new foundation to be cast on its footprint. Another spire soon to rise under The Developers guise.
Countless memories contained within, now scattered like Ghost Ships in The Sea.
(Video of 432 Park)
Something new is poking above the skyline in Midtown, and it is growing everyday. New York’s next tallest residential skyscraper is rising along the horizon, and it is starting to make a permanent impression. Designed by Rafael Vinoly, and occupying the site of the former historic Drake Hotel, the tower is extra skinny and slender (90′ X 90′ in plan dimension), with a simple grid punctuating its facade. The structural system, a concrete self-supporting shell, affords wide expansive views of the City from its vantage points. This construct will eventually top out at a height of 1,396 feet, and when reaching its pinnacle, will eclipse the top floor of One World Trade Center.
(432 Park Avenue in Mid-Ascent)
432 Park, motivated and funded by pure capitalism, is poised to be another shrine to the oft mentioned “billionaires club” we hear so much about. It is truly an example of urban form shaped by the sheer desire to impress. These motivations aside, there are actually few “good-to-great” buildings being constructed in Manhattan these days. The proportion of bad buildings far exceed those that are thoughtful or impart some measure of daring. This structure, because of its small footprint with respect to its height (called the “slenderness ratio” in construction terminology) will occupy the thoughts of people in unique ways. A “thoughtful occupation”, grounded in wonderment, on its way to be realized. In the meantime, it is a joy to observe as The Tower climbs its way to the top.
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