Before Bjarke Ingels and his pyramid came along, Frank Gehry's Beekman Tower (now known as New York by Gehry or just 8 Spruce Street) was the mind-melting luxury rental building that dominated all discussion. And with leasing in the rippling 76-story tower set to begin any day now, the Beek is back on the tip of our tongues. Why? Because anyone with an interest in these sorts of things is bound to have an opinion on architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff's review of NYC's new tallest residential building in the Times today. The Big O has been critical of the partnership between the legendary architect and developer Bruce Ratner before, but not here: Ouroussoff calls Gehry's signature on the Manhattan skyline the "finest skyscraper to rise in New York since Eero Saarinen’s CBS building went up 46 years ago," which, for promotional purposes, sure beats New York's biggest dick joke.
According to Ouroussoff, the building "seems to crystallize a particular moment in cultural history, in this case the turning point from the modern to the digital age." And its location on the northern rim of the Financial District only strengthens it: "The building's endlessly shifting surfaces are an attack against the kind of corporate standardization so evident in the buildings to the south and the conformity that it embodied." But the best building since 1965 also has its faults, primarily its six-story base clad in orange brick, which will house a public school. It's "a letdown after you've seen the gorgeously wrought exterior of the tower above." As for the widely panned flat side of 8 Spruce Street, Ouroussoff writes that "some may find perverse enjoyment in the fact that the building presents its backside to Wall Street." So full of gags, that Gehry.
And now, the apartments, which are expected to start at $3k/month for tiny studios. Nic the Slick is just as taken with the bay windows as everyone else is (not that those people have had the joy of experiencing them firsthand). Not only do they provide "dramatically angled views of the surrounding skyline," but they also allow some apartments to peek right into neighboring units. Awkward? Sexy? A little of both?
In the NYT's accompanying slideshow, we get the first look inside a completed model apartment and the lobby (seen below), the latter with furnishings designed by Franktastic himself. We already know that not every critic agrees with Ouroussoff's take, so is the 8 Beekman Spruce New York Street Tower by Gehry really that great?