time off in new york city

almost three months to fill

Trump Place

Today I walked across Central Park to the Upper West Side and ended up at Trump Place.

Trump Place is a massive development of apartment blocks overlooking the Hudson River and the West Side Highway. The older buildings take their inspiration from or, depending on your view, are an unfortunate pastiche of Central Park West.

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The AIA book isn’t complimentary, christening it Brobdingnagia “unfortunate giants…inglorious to look at…” Herbert Muschamp at the end of this 2002 New York Times article calls the buildings a “perfected piece of late 20th century hypocrisy… At Trump Place, ahistorical mutants masquerade as historical landmarks”.

The final scheme was built following negotiations with the Municipal Art Society (“fights for intelligent urban planning, design and preservation”) which prompts questions about the effectiveness of that organisation. Muschamp concludes that Trump Place reveal the MAS’s “blindness to contemporary architecture and to beauty in any form” and “signifies a time when tastefulness was mistaken for beauty”.

Well yes, the buildings are dull, but as this more recent article shows they are popular and a neighbourhood seems to be developing around them.

I walked down to Pier i cafe in nearby Riverside Park; at last, a place where you can drink beer, wine, coffee, eat food outside in the sun with sparrows hopping around the tables; not on a cramped pavement terrace on a traffic-clogged avenue (that’s above you).

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This entry was posted on July 2, 2012 by .
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