David Rau sent this nice photograph to the TradArch list in an email titled “Paris in New York.” He writes:
A string of Second Empire buildings along Broadway in the 20s. At center is the Ace Hotel (interiors by Roman & Williams), with the NoMad Hotel at right (interiors by French decorator Jacques Garcia). A converted coop apartment building sits far left. Maybe not exactly Rue de Rivoli, but I’ll take it. Richard Branson is constructing a Virgin Hotel, designed by VOA, just across the street.
The photo at left of the proposed hotel will break your heart.
Will the people in the rooms of the lovely hotels get a break in price because of the new view?
Construction on the hotel has apparently already broken ground. To rely upon the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to block this thing is to misunderstand the organization: Like so many other preservation organizations around the country, and indeed around the world, it is no longer what it purports to be but rather the agent of forces it was founded to resist.
Who today will stand up against such a monstrosity? The Institute of Classical Art & Architecture? You’d think. But the fact is that no organization exists to opp0se this crime by Richard Branson.
Stick to airplanes, Dick, or rockets if you must!!!
New York is a lost cause, as London has become. These are places that will only grow uglier. Beauty is spitting in the wind. There is still a chance that we might still always have Paris – but that chance is growing slimmer.