Parties: We like them! Invite us to yours!
The Event: Ralph Walker: Architect of the Century opening party; building sneak peak inside 212 West 18th Street.
In The House: Shaun Osher and his CORE constituency, architects and architecture fans, Former R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe.
Dress Code: Dark suits and power ties on the men, lots of black dresses on the women; until Stipe shows up in a 1,000 yards of knit yarn.
Menu: Tasty! Skewered shrimp with shaved coconut, little beef tenderloins with a tiny dollop of guacamole on a cracker, Thai tuna ceviché in a wonton cone, shitake mushroom wraps.
Music: a violin and flute duet played briefly before seemingly getting the hook for being too somber for the occasion.
With plans to charge $10K a square foot for penthouse space, it's never a bad idea to dust off and polish the starchitect reputation of a building's designer well before the condo reincarnation is ready for occupancy. So for the next three months there will be a public exhibition in the ground floor public areas of the Walker Tower at 212 West 18th Street showing off the work of Art Deco architect Ralph Walker, who also built the tower at 1 Wall Street and the Barclay-Vesey Building. The crowd last night included architects, brokers, history buffs (Walker's biographer and architectural historian Kathryn E. Holliday was on hand to sign her book), and PR folk. The ground floor is still very much raw construction space, and the party's bars were placed in the building's elevators in part to deter curious guests from trying to get upstairs. The Ralph Walker exhibit is free, but by appointment only. The building should be completed within 12-16 months.
UPDATE 2: That was not a burst water pipe at the Walker Tower this morning, but "a scheduled FDNY test of the building's fire pump system," according to someone who spoke with the building's developer. We suppose it's one of those things that only looks bad when everything goes right.
UPDATE: A tipster sent us photos a few minutes ago showing a plume of brownish water spurting out of the north side of Walker Tower taken around 8:15 this morning. Despite the pleasant rainbow formed over West 18th Street, this is probably not a good thing. Is this what a building with a hangover looks like?