MoMA’s 82-story Facelift, New York City

Some of New York City’s Midtown residents and the Museum of Modern Art  were in the middle of a large scale building debate…except now the debate appears to be over, with the City Council granting the project final approval a few days ago.
The Museum of Modern Art has requested (and received) the city’s permission to build an 82-story tower adjacent to the MoMA. The tower will be primarily for additional exhibit space; however there are also plans to include luxury housing and hotel rooms.

The MoMA tower was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and will rise 1,025 feet (as tall as the Chrysler building) above 53 Street in Midtown. Despite large scale community opposition, the tower’s zooming variances flying through the council this week by a vote of 44-3 means that there appears to be little left to do for those who oppose the project.

Justin Peyser, whose West 54 Street apartment faces the tower site and who is a member of the anti-tower Coalition for Responsible Midtown Development, says, “Nobody is against fine architecture. The problem is where it’s being built.” Councilman Dan Garodnick, whose district begins just North of the tower at 54 Street, agrees and adds, “The size is what really makes it difficult for my constituents to support. If it was a smaller building with fewer years of construction it might be a different story.”

But not everyone is sees it that way. Council Speaker Chris Quinn, whose Manhattan district includes the tower site, said, “This is going to be an iconic addition to New York City’s skyline, really a one-of-its-kind building.”

There is no official word yet on when the project will get underway, or regarding how long it will take to build. Hines, the firm in charge of construction, paid The Museum of Modern Art $125 million for the site. A spokesman for Hines say the tower will “contribute significantly to the city’s architectural heritage and economy while enabling the museum to show even more of our collection to the public.”

Via: The New York Post