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Archicritic: Howard Hughes Seaport Tower Is a Bad Idea

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The neighbors hate Howard Hughes Corporation's plans for a 500-foot tower at the base of Pier 17 at the Seaport, and they're not alone. This week, New York's Justin Davidson weighed in, calling the SHoP Architects-designed tower "a neighborhood-killer" and "a Faustian bargain that the city must reject." Davidson concedes that the project would bring much needed improvements to the area including a middle school, a new home for the Seaport Museum, an extended esplanade, a food market, and some affordable housing, and that it would save Pier 17, currently crumbling into the sea, before covering it with the tower. But all this, he says, will still not be worth it in exchange for Howard Hughes opening the door to "wrap the curtain of high-rises around the neighborhood's fourth wall, erecting a new barrier between the seaport and the world beyond" and being allowed to "treat the neighborhood like a gated community." The model that Hughes has used on similarly large-scale community developments in Nevada and Texas, he writes, will not work "for the fragile, antique seaport. A certain judicious neglect is woven into the neighborhood's fabric, a ­benign shabbiness that the company and the architects need to respect."
· A Proposed Megatower on the Pier Would Wreck the South Street Seaport [Daily Intel]
· Howard Hughes Corporation coverage [Curbed]

Pier 17

89 South Street, Manhattan, NY 10038 Visit Website