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Norten's 1 York Update #1: A Mere Shell

[The north facade of 1 York as seen from Canal Street]

We all know that new downtown development 1 York is going to be all light and airy and spacious. But it seems Enrique Norten and those crazy kids at Arquitectonica are talking this whole minimalist thing a tad too far. Emails a reader, "What's up with 1 York Street? The entire block of buildings is demolished. Only the north facade (Laight Street) and west facade (St John's Lane) remain."

Er, indeed. A recent Curbed investigation found hardly a building here at all anymore. Just a few months ago there was a good solid Tribeca warehouse sitting at the corner of Canal and Sixth Avenue. The archival photos at right (taken before the starchitect let loose the demo squad; see also this gallery) show what a real warehouse building looks like: note the walls rising up from the street, and that there are four of those walls, together delineating and enclosing the building's interior space. Conversely, the 1 York website declares:

At 1 York Tribeca, Enrique Norten has conceived a masterpiece of modern architecture. Rather than demolish several turn of the century loft-like structures, Norten responded to the geometries of the site with the insertion of a glass form to connect these existing structures.And what do we have now? Two skinny brick walls propped up by a bunch of metal bars and cleats.

A few months back some downtown folk were all ants-in-their-pants when these guys tore down the old warehouse facing York Street. They'll enjoy this.

Here's what 1 York looked like just a few weeks ago: brick walls standing tall and strong, a battalion of stalwart cast iron columns and acres of old growth hard wood floors:

Now: 1 York is a shadow of its former self.

· 1 York [Official Site]
· Norten's 1 York Pre-Construction Glory [Curbed]
· Norten's 1 York: L.A. is Landing [Curbed]