The war of petitions over Jean Nouvel's shrinking Tower Verre continues, and a tipster passed along the challengers' attorney's latest memo in the case. One of the biggest problems for the MoMA tower's opponents all along has been the developers' environmental impact statement, which they say ignores the real effect of the tower's height on residential buildings in the neighborhood. The most recent memo is a response to the city and developers' legal paperwork, so here, a few of the locals' key arguments against Nouvel's building:
1) The building is tall! Almost four times as tall as the structure previously approved for the same spot: "The differences in terms of (1) blocked views, (2) shadows, (3) consistency with the existing scene and, to be poetic, (4) the brooding omnipresence of the Tower are self-evident."
2) The building is really, really tall! "We emphasize that the Hines Tower is not just 'another tall building' among many. As approved at 1,050 feet, it would be the third tallest building in New York City...It would be almost double the height of the next tallest building in the study area."
3) "The Hines Tower would not only be very tall?it would also be very large."
4) The city did not, its opponents say, pick the world's best example to support the MoMA tower when it cited One Madison Park as a successful recent example of a tall and slender building: "What 1 Madison Park does illustrate is how incompatible and damaging a tall, slender modern tower can be to the surrounding neighborhood." (Though fitting in has really been the least of One Mad Park's problems.)