The current building boom (76,000 new buildings in 15 years?!) is winding down, New York's Justin Davidson writes, and in a lengthy and thoughtful meditation on the city's changing landscape, gentrification, and that always popular topic?the loss of "soul"?Davidson assesses the fruit of all that labor. Now, some buildings do get love from the big guy (40 Bond, 15 Central Park West, Broadway's Scholastic Building, MePa's Porter House), but the real fun is the total slamjobs, as well as the gripping before-and-after photos. The Variety theater-replacing One Ten 3rd (above) is "impressively awful," Renzo Piano's Times Tower "hits the sky with a dull thud," Avalon Bowery is "a poor replacement, even for just tenements." And, perhaps most fun of all, Davidson's take on the Lower East Side's Whole Foods-loaded Avalon Chrystie Place: "The tofu's fine and the living is easy, but couldn't class warfare be waged with better design?" Now THAT puts the ow! in the Bowery!
· The Glass Stampede [NYM]