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Thumbs Up: Cooper Square Hotel Revealed!

Something big and strange is growing on the corner of The Bowery and 5th Street in the East Village. (No, not the Bowery Hotel; this is just north of that site.) In what appears to be a case of not-gonna-show-ya-nothin' design, the Peckmoss Group is developing a 23-story, 224 foot tall luxury hotel to be called The Cooper Square Hotel. Okay, pretty ordinary name. But there's a lot about this project that is, in many ways, anything but ordinary.

First, the hotel tower will wrap around an old tenement building that's been on that site since before the days of the Bowery Boys. We linked that story last fall when the developer backed off and made the tenant a deal. Then they ran into some structural problems, but it seems that's been worked out too. Now they're in full construction mode.

[The Cooper Square Hotel rises on The Bowery above the home of poet Hettie Jones]

Concrete is growing by the yard around that little brick building. Columns go this way, reaching out toward the big blue Sculpture for Living across Cooper Square. Floor plates arc towards the sky and re-bar is growing like tentacles. The architects are the Studio Carlos Zapata and Perkins Eastman Architects. The Zapata group is known for some very dynamic and mind-blowing work (one could spend a good part of an afternoon playing around the Studio Zapata website). No ordinary square boxes there. One of Studio Zapata's latest projects is a 68-story glass tower complete with a heli-pad that will go up right in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. Really.

[Studio Zapata's design for the Bitexco Horizon Tower in Ho Chi Minh City]

So, what will Zapata do with this new tower at 25 Cooper Square? Renderings haven't been published and are seemingly impossible to find. And the guys at the Peckmoss Group are aren't giving anything away. But some sleuthy neighbors managed to come across an ethereal looking rendering on a contractor's website. They added some artwork, made copies and started posting those images around the neighborhood. Almost immediately one of the big guys found out and the rendering was pulled from cyberspace but pronto. So here's something of a sneak peak. (Actually it does look like a thumb. A ghost's thumb, all white and smokey and, well, bulbous. The Bowery Boys wouldn't know what to make of it.)

[The "sore thumb" is posted on the site's construction fence]

· Bowery Hotel Touts Fancy Pillows, Styrofoam! [Curbed]
· Upper Bowery's Final Crack-Up [Curbed]
· Work in Progress [Studio Carlos Zapata]