Crane Lit: Architectural Classicist Paul Gunther, His Sword of Damacles Metaphor and One57 Review

Am I obsessed with the crane? Yes. Do I live in the neighborhood of the crane? Yes.

Am I thrilled that HuffPo’s Paul Gunther
understands that the symbolism of it all is not just about the storm but “… there is a point at which it (density)  strains local capacity to a breaking point. There has to be some measure of balance between private gain and the commonweal such gain relies upon”

In Richard Westall’s Sword of Damocles, 1812, the boys of Cicero’s anecdote have been changed to maidens for a neoclassical patron, Thomas Hope.

“What the onlookers are witnessing today is a metaphor of the 4th century BC Greek legend of the Sword of Damocles, as later distilled and relayed by the Roman orator Cicero as an object lesson for the risks of power and the trade-offs required in wielding it”

…”If nothing else, the accident caused residents and visitors alike to look aloft at the building and consider its looming form. The constant throngs of smart phone image-makers alongside the barricades demonstrated best an unwitting and surely unwanted inspection of the building itself; nothing more than a well-deployed star architect imprimatur proving a disappointment despite its creative signature by Pritzker Prize

laureate Christian De Portzemparc. Regardless of one’s taste or design predilection it is a banal overblown value-engineered needle honed from zoning regulation sleight-of-hand that makes all the existing towers around it shrink in its glassy shadow (black with a sprinkling of colored side wall panes in a nostalgic nod to the great early modernists). What does lend the building value is the view it grabs through sheer verticality along with a good address, especially as ambiguously distilled with its invented marketing moniker.”

…”Change is due and welcome (as both leading presidential contenders remind us daily). Only a miniscule proportion of New York real estate is landmarked as with all truly dynamic global capitals. Making money from new construction that keeps pace with rapidly shifting tenant demand is the life force of future validity and sustained relevance in the global marketplace. But attention must be paid throughout to the shared infrastructure and systems of a functioning social contract. Growth is mandatory but not at the wholesale expense of the surrounding community; in that case homes and offices both new and old shoulder a risk that may not be evident at the outset of the approval process. Density is what’s wanted and called for in the 21st century but there is a point at which it strains local capacity to a breaking point. There has to be some measure of balance between private gain and the commonweal such gain relies upon” via Paul Gunther, Huffington Post more….

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-gunther/the-dangling-crane-a-swor_b_2067109.html

Website of Christian de Portzemparc

http://www.chdeportzamparc.com/

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