This bit of bracing overkill at 350 West Broadway in Soho appears to be an encore presentation by that gang of eager builders from Chicago's SLCE. Not too long ago we reported on another SLCE installation at Broadway and Reade Street. That one was all wood, and created a nice dialogue with some wooden sculptures up at MoMA. This newer one is all massive steel beams, and sends a loud shout out to sculptor Mark di Suvero, whose three-legged tower Joie de Vivre stands tall, proud and red at the edge of Zuccotti Park down near Broadway and Liberty. Art for the People! Beyond the art, another bonus is that the buildings neighboring these SLCE projects, which were undermined by digging and in danger of collapsing, still stand among us. That should come as very good news to all those brunchers next door at Felix, not to mention the tea bags seeking Sanctuary across the street.
The glassy bit of invisibility once set to rise at 350 West Broadway in SoHo.
The commercial building that used to sit on this prime site went up in the 80s and was a Brady-ish split-level thing. It was so awkwardly designed that it sat empty for nearly 20 years. Then, a while back Ian Schrager came along and reportedly planned to build yet another swanky hotel here. DOB now shows the hotel plan is dead and that, instead, SLCE is working on a 10-story 8-unit stack of condos. A few weeks back, the SLCE gang finally put a crew to work. Lo and behold, and much to their dismay, while digging down they hit that same soft and cruddy landfill that has proved to be a plague of problems for folks a block over at 74 Grand. Is this just a simple case or two of bad luck? Or maybe something more?
Di Suvero's original at Zuccotti Park (L) and SLCE's SoHo version (R).
The bold red line shows where the bracing meets the bricks.