New York Times archicritic Michael Kimmelman is a known non-fan of Madison Square Garden, and he takes aim at the arena?"a daily blight" for Penn Station commuters?again on the occasion of its permit renewal application. The application goes before Community Board 5 tonight, and after recommendations from the City Planning Commission and the borough president, the City Council will make a decision. The Garden would like the permit, most recently valid for 50 years, to be good forever, and Kimmelman thinks the Council should give that request a resounding no. Among his reasons why:
1) The proposed 17,300-square-foot screens on four sides of the arena "could only further degrade the neighborhood."
2) Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road, and New Jersey Transit are working on their own area improvement plans, but the Garden must take part in order "heal one of the most painful wounds the city has ever inflicted on itself," and the Garden has had no apparent interest in being involved.
3) And if the impact on the neighborhood doesn't matter to the City Council, maybe shame will. The Garden has, Kimmelman argues, been "made to look even worse by the arrival of the spanking new and striking Barclays Center in Brooklyn."
Kimmelman has argued in the past that the best place for the Garden is actually farther to the west, all the way over at 11th Avenue.
· Madison Square Garden's Permit Is Up for Renewal [NYT]
· Madison Square Garden coverage [Curbed]