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Curbed Awards '10 Architecture: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

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It's time to make up a bunch of awards and hand them out to the most deserving people, places and things in the real estate, architecture, and neighborhood universes of New York City. Yep, it's time for the Seventh Annual Curbed Awards! Today's topic: architecture!

Ugliest Old Building Re-completed in 2010
Usually we jeer an ugly new building, but the glass facade stapled onto the former Newsweek Building at 1775 Broadway (name changed to 3 Columbus Circle) stood alone in 2010. Seriously, nobody wanted to go near it. The largely empty building was even targeted for demolition even though $100 million was just spent on renovating the place.

Finger of the Year

As development action ramped up from last year's slowdown, finger buildings once again started to pop up all over town, their very presence a not-so-subtle F-you to the surrounding low-rise neighbors. But in 2010, one big finger managed to rise higher than the rest. We salute you, Trump Soho, and all who call your monstrous magnificence home for a maximum of 120 days per year, and no more than 29 consecutive days.

Most Anticipated New Starchitecture, Non-Gehry Addition

With the latest renderings out and groundbreaking planned for May 24th, this award goes to the Whitney Museum's planned new building next to the High Line. Even if the museum will no longer connect to the High Line, we're still looking forward to seeing Italian starchitect Renzo Piano's design rise.

The 3rd Annual Tribeca Total Craziness Trophy
The neighbors can't wrap their minds around the proposed design for 187 Franklin Street, which is as good as reason as any for handing it this year's award. The owners want more sunlight, and the angled windows with curved brick frames are their way of getting it while also protecting themselves from any prying eyes at the Tribeca Film Center across the street. Community Board 1's Landmarks Committee thinks the house looks too much like an art installation, or maybe like a building covered in Band-Aids.

Coolest New Toy Ripped From a Sci-Fi Flick
See above.

The Somebody's Getting Fired Mark of Shame

Philip Toscano is the world's best architect, and don't let anybody say otherwise. Not even if they find out we're giving Toscano this award, for 14 Bayard Street's balconies to nowhere. Who doesn't love this instant Williamsburg classic? Probably the guy who drew up the blueprints. He might want to leave this one off the resume.

Most Extreme Makeover
Renovation: $1.4 billion. Recreating a lost childhood by rolling down a sloping grass rooftop: Priceless. Bravo, Lincoln Center!

Best New Building Plucked From Saturday Morning Cartoons

It's our favorite feature of Tribeca's revamped Pier 25 in Hudson River Park: the faux-stone Fred Flinstone house. Actually, it's a hole on the pier's mini golf course, but we liked our first explanation better. Willllllmmmmmaaaaaa!!!!!

Architecture Trend of the Year
Buildings with light shows straight out of Las Vegas, like Long Island City's Murano, which, in only slightly related news, has a freaking moat! But yeah, the night light thing. Let's unplug this trend in 2011.

Best New Mansion That Isn't Really a Mansion

Upper East Side mansions don't get commissioned too often anymore, but leave it to American traditionalist Ralph Lauren to revive the practice. Only, he won't be living in his McKim, Mead & White-style limestone mansion at 888 Madison Avenue. Nope, it's just a store. Sure beats Filene's Basement.

Best Impostor of the Year
It came to our attention in April and quickly became a Curbed obsession: the secret subway exit designed to look like a townhouse at 58 Joralemon Street in Brooklyn Heights. Also known as "the world's only Greek Revival subway ventilator."

Worst Impostor of the Year

58 Joralemon leaves the folks at the MTA with a lot to live up to where fake townhouses disguising secret subway infrastructure are concerned. And they don't manage to live up to it with the proposed subway ventilation plant at Mulry Square. The obviously false-looking brownstone facade encasing a concrete box isn't helped by the fact that it's planned for the one-time home of Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks" diner.

Best Building We'll Never See

Despite some love from the Landmarks Preservation Commission and from potential neighbors the Romanoff family, the LPC ultimately said no to architect Morris Adjmi's twisty MePa tower at 837 Washington Street. The commissioners found the design 100' too tall for the space and not in keeping with the Gansevoort Market Historic District, so the development team is headed back to the drawing board.

Building of the Year
It's kind of a shame that Annabelle Selldorf's 200 Eleventh Avenue has that crazy car elevator that gives the building its Sky Garage nickname. The paparazzi-evading aid has turned the 19-story West Chelsea condo building into a celebrity magnet, which means everybody focuses on the famous names and nobody notices how stunning the building itself turned out. But we'll do that now. 200 Eleventh, you're a looker.
· All Curbed Awards 2010 posts [Curbed]