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What Can Brown Do for Canal Street? Not Much

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The big box rising above Canal Street, formerly a project from hotel developer Sam Chang but now a Sheraton Tribeca, has gone brown. Earlier renderings of 370 Canal Street from architect Gene Kaufman showed a pastel-ly batch of bricks, an apparent attempt to be "contextual" with the pink and tan terracotta on the old Canal Street Post Office down below (from which this building got some air rights). But earth tones in a uniform autumnal hue have taken over the tower.

Now that the Sheraton has been bricked up there's an opportunity to compare new styles to old, most notably the brickage on the art deco edifice that rises just to the south at 32 Avenue of the Americas. Also worth noting is the lively spot just to the west, where Beaux Arts ornamentation is the name of the game. A more humble tone is struck by the long-lasting neighbors to the north, just across Canal. All along this stretch the NYPD is keeping a watchful eye on slick sidewalk retailers, forcing the enterprising entrepeneurs to scatter to the side streets nearby.

This turn of events might come as a letdown to future Sheratonistas (the hotel is supposedly opening on March 17, 2010) who may have heard tales of bargains at the front door. But no worries: By next spring our upcoming local elections will be a thing of the past, and then popular sales practices down on Canal may be back in full force.
· Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel [Starwood Hotels]
· Construction Watch: Monster of a Mailbox on Canal [Curbed]