clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Listing Ten Pieces of Boomtime Architecture Gone Bust

New, 8 comments

It's been a few years since New York's construction heyday and like a class reunion, we're taking a look at how some of 2007-2008's most popular class has fared, looks-wise. William Weber rounds up a few pre-recession structures that hit our radar screen with a mix of celebrity interest, speedy construction, prolonged construction, lawsuits, and now, visible deterioration. Usual suspects Robert Scarano and Karl Fischer make an appearance (in Hot Karl's case, two), in addition to some more surprising updates from the likes of Enrique Norten's One York. Not all of these are unsalvageable, while others, well: best of luck, 480 Humboldt.

10) Chelsea Modern
Architect: Audrey Matlock
Completed: 2008
A tipster wrote in over the summer complaining, "What's up with the flippers protruding out of the east wall of Chelsea Modern? The discolored stucco wall looks pretty bush league for a new building too. I walk past this almost everyday and have seen no change in the last 8 months." The building assures us they're only re-caulking some windows and the damage is temporary. Also, a recent visit confirms that the views and outdoor space are quite nice, so here's hoping.

9) IAC Building
Architect: Frank Gehry
Completed: 2007
The Pied Piper of starchitecture made his full-blown Manhattan entrée with the corporate headquarters for IAC, also marking the proliferation of bigtime West Chelsea architecture. While Vanity Fair called it the "world's most attractive office building," and we can't disagree, it's had some construction issues of its own, namely a foot wide gap at the base of the structure. Anyone have updates on current status?

8) 20 Bayard
Architect: Karl Fischer
Completed: 2008
Ever time it rains, residents complain about water seeping down interior the walls and causes a general mess. Thus far, nothing has been done and water is destroying the building, drop by drop. One woman has had 8 instances of water damage in four different rooms. Floor panels and ceiling tile replacement is now commonplace. Certain tipsters are glad they are only renting!

7) Palazzo Chupi
Architect: Julian Schnabel
Completed: 2007
No "worst of" list is complete without something Chupiriffic. Most units sold nowhere near th initial ask, the most stunning example being the penthouse duplex and triplex, first on the market for $32 million and finally offered as a combo at $27.9 million. Not to mention, Julian Schnabel had to sell a Picasso to pay his debts and the boldfaced name residents started flipping their units. Now the damage is less catastrophic, as 360 West 11th Street has toned down its pinkage to a softer shade of pale. Weather? Intrinsic understanding of color values in stucco? We may never know.

6) One York
Architect: Enrique Norton
Completed: 2010
Canal Street's fanciest property was envisioned as a starchitecture hit, but it is still struggling to sell its overpriced, yet reduced, units. Michael Hirtenstein was originally in talks to buy 6 units for around $35M. Fast forward a few and he's secured an undisclosed spread in the building for a lesser amount, but from aerial photos, rooftop construction is still quiet. Let's talk about the base: the glass tower was intended to rise out of the original brick structures, but the builders were only able to preserve one wall. Instead: meet the prefab brick panels that, three years on, are so weather you can see the outline of each panel. Looks like this commenter had the right idea.

5) 480 Humboldt Street
Architect: Karl Fischer
Completed: 2007
Another victim of Karl Fischer, and/or Hurricane Irene? Awkward proximity to the BQE? Shoddy construction? Either way, this troubled building was scheduled for bankruptcy auction back in July, but just recently sold for a cool $9.275M. The new owner has some cleaning up to do, not to mention marketing for all these unsold units.

4) 290 Mulberry
Architect: SHoP Architects
Completed: 2008
Hurricane Irene, which was a tease to the rest of Manhattan, left its mark on the East Façade ripping plaster away in 10 areas. Since all the attention and money was spent on the undulating street facades, apparently everyone forgot about the parti-walls. Whoops. Not what one would expect from the same people who brought us one of the best new buildings of the Aughts.

3) Perry Street Towers
Architect: Richard Meier
Completed: 2002
When starchitect Richard Meier’s Perry Street Towers in Greenwich Village went on the market celebrities like Calvin Klein, Nicole Kidman, Martha Stewart and architectural connoisseurs alike jumped at the opportunity to live in the glass boxes. The decade since the debut has been flanked with numerous problems such as water leaks, heating issues, security lapses and endless construction. Resale has been wide with a third of the units back on the market within the first 4 years. Regardless of the various snags, the units do sell quickly. Living in a Meier building ironically trumps the burden of a leaky structure.

2) 52E4
Architect: Robert Scarano
Completed: 2008
“Welcome to the Bowery, may I park your Aston Martin, sir?” was the catchphrase of the day back in 2008 when Scarano-on-the-Bowery was the latest of boom time gentrification in this area. That vision quickly fell apart just like the façade, which has started to lose its slate tiles falling to the carport below. This past summer it was announced that a 7/11 was moving in. Is it all too much to handle for singer John Legend? He recently listed his $2.95M pad on the market. It’s not looking good.

1) One Madison Park
Architect: Cetra Ruddy
Completed: Topped out 2010, inside incomplete
A spokes-building for the real estate boom and bust of the 00’s. The financial problems of this tower are a well-documented horror story unto itself. The developers were living the dream: at one point they hired Rem Koolhaas to design another tower next door and were known to drop $30K on wine before everything came crashing down. Post-crazy the skyscraper is mostly incomplete. Only 12 of the 91 units are occupied because of the multiple lawsuits and allegations of fraud surrounding the two developers. Things are looking up, though: the remaining units could return to market in 2012. Brush off that Nicolai Ourossoff burn and you're good to go, Maddy.
—William Weber

One York

1 York Street, New York, NY 10013

20 Bayard

20 Bayard Street, Brooklyn, NY

One Madison Park

One Madison Park, New York, NY 10010