02_05_07TrumpWorldTower.jpgToday the NY Times introduces us to the man behind some of the city’s most boring buildings.

Costas Kondylis, aka the Developer’s Architect, is a skyscraper-embracing traditionalist whose clients have included Donald Trump, Larry Silverstein, Related Companies (developer of the Time Warner Center), Forest City Ratner Companies (developer of The New York Times building and, of course, the Atlantic Yards project) and Vornado Realty Trust (the Penn Plaza towers), among others.

Kondylis, who's worked on 75 buildings (with 15 in the works), designed the Trump International Hotel and Tower at Columbus Circle and is working on the Plaza renovation. But one of his most contentious projects is the Trump World Tower, the 90-story building on First Ave. between 47th and 48th that created waves in the late 1990s for being, oh, just a little out of scale. It was a mild cause celebre, galvanizing neighbors like Walter Cronkite, film director James Ivory of Howards End fame and investor Alberto Vilar (who reportedly donated $25 million to the Met).

We’ve often wondered who, if anyone, could reign in Trump and an account in the Times piece reveals one possible answer to that question: Kondylis!

"He wanted a gold building — gold this and gold that,” Mr. Kondylis said of Trump World Tower, which ended up bronze (Mr. Kondylis’s preference). “The only compromise was the way the canopy had to incorporate bronze and the Trump name,” he added. “The way I justify it for myself, it’s the branding of the building. That’s something sometimes you have to deal with. Like designing for Gucci, it’s maintaining a brand.”

So, despite all those horribly nondescript buildings, we can thank Kondylis for not having to call New York the home of a gold 90-story Trump building.