So, Norman Foster's proposed 30-story tower atop the Parke-Bernet Gallery building at 980 Madison Ave (between 77th and 78th)? Don't wheel in the cranes just yet. As has been in the cards since the second the news hit last week, the Community Board voted against the design yesterday—a move that's advisory, but given that we are in a historic district here, likely influential.
The crowd at Wired New York has been debating the merits of the design in relation to its low-rise, landmarked neighborhood. Queries one member:
What I have a problem with is the advocates of absolute contextuality in cases where it is neither necessary nor even possible. What's more, is I have yet to hear a well thought-out argument to justify absolute contextuality. All I'm hearing is, "It's in a historic district, therefore we have to maintain sameness." That, in my opinion, is a crock, as the boundaries of the district are not uniform at all, and in many cases, they're meaningless. An example that I have brought up a few times is the boundary that exists only one block away from this site. If the same building was proposed there, what would the arguments then be?· Board Rejects Upper East Side Skyscraper [NYTimes]
· 980 Madison Ave. Discussion [WiredNY]
· Norman Foster's 980 Madison Will Not Enrage You [Curbed]