After French starchitect Jean Nouvel's design for a new 75-story mixed-use skyscraper next to the Museum of Modern Art first exploded onto the scene via a celebratory announcement penned by New York Times archicritic Nicolai Ouroussoff, silence reigned. It's almost as if a nuclear bomb went off at 53 West 53rd Street, and now, months later, the survivors are regrouping. And those survivors aren't necessarily happy about the attack. The Observer's Eliot Brown reports that a Community Board 5 subcommittee unanimously voted against the air rights transfers last week, with a full board vote to come on Thursday. These votes are essentially meaningless, because it will be the Landmarks Preservation Commission, City Planning Commission and City Council that will ultimately make the call. But dudes, c'mon. "The scale is just totally inappropriate in a low-rise area," argued the vice president of the block association by the site. Um hello, it's Midtown! A world-class architect wants to drop an instant landmark onto 53rd Street, and people fight it. Yeesh, no wonder Dubai has supplanted New York as the skyscraper capital of the world.
· Residents Rail Against Current MoMA Skyscraper Plans [NYO]
· Nouvel's 53 West 53rd Street in Gorgeous Detail [Curbed]