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Curbed Cup Elite Eight: (2) Financial District vs. (7) Upper East Side

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Which neighborhood should advance? Cast your vote now!

Financial District
Max Touhey for Curbed

Financial District

The Financial District went on to overthrow Two Bridges in the first round of Curbed Cup voting, but will it pass muster against the Upper East Side? It was a banner year for the Lower Manhattan neighborhood, with the long-awaited opening of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub and Oculus, the topping out of 3 World Trade Center and St. Nicholas National Shrine, and—finally—the big reveal of REX Architecture’s design for the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center, now known as The Perelman.

The neighborhood also continued to woo new residents to a few buildings of note—30 Park Place, where billionaire buyers finally started moving in to condos this year, and 70 Pine, the stunning Art Deco landmark that’s been converted into a rental building. The neighborhood is also home to two of the city’s most anticipated hotel openings this year in Four Seasons Downtown at 30 Park Place and The Beekman in the stunning, rehabilitated turn-of-the-20th-century landmark Temple Court.

Liberty Park also made its anticipated debut this year, St. Paul’s Chapel celebrated its 250th anniversary, and the world’s largest Viking ship crossed the Atlantic to dock in Battery Park City’s North Cove for a week this fall.

Upper East Side

Although it looks like the Second Avenue Subway won’t, in fact, be opening this year, the Upper East Side has still seen a lot of action in 2016 (not all of which was positive.) DDG became embroiled in legal drama over their tactic of trying to use a four-foot wide lot on East 88th Street to buck zoning laws and build the neighborhood’s tallest tower, a story that’s still playing out. Drama surrounding the planned Sutton Place supertall tower designed by Norman Foster has subsided for now, now that the site’s been sold at auction (to none other than a lender of the original development company).

Progress was made on new buildings like Related’s pricey rental The Easton, Extell’s condo building The Kent, and Robert A.M. Stern’s anticipated, but slow to go up 520 Park Avenue, and the neighborhood’s world-class cultural institutions also announced major strides forward. The Frick Collection announced that it’s tapped Selldorf Architects to lead its expansion while The Met announced that it will also be adding 180,000 square feet to the institution.