Howard Roark scoffs. A giant skyscraper, dubbed the MoMA Monster, keeps shrinking. Set to go up in the empty lot next to the museum, creators of the proposed 1,250 feet tower continue to fight a cut of 200 feet; WCBS reports that at a city council committee meeting yesterday, the real estate developer and the architect "saw their plans for a soaring Midtown skyscraper crumbling."
Neighbors of the would-be building spoke up at the meeting, saying "This is the time to call a halt to this. This is the time to stop." Another declared, "It's an abomination." Architect Jean Nouvel countered by unveiling a new proposal, which he says would more easily blend into the cityscape. After facing criticism that the design didn't merit such an iconic height (the same height as the Empire State Building, sans antenna), the architect went back to the drawing board and came up with a new design that includes "reflective 'fins' that would be be seen from certain vantage points around the tower, but not others."
By chopping off 200 feet, he argued that 16 stories would be lost, and he may not continue with the project. Even if he does get approval, in order to reach the clouds, the developer needs to purchase air rights from the museum, the nearby University Club and St. Thomas Episcopal Church. MoMA is on board, saying the money is vital because they "do not receive direct support from either the city or the state. We depend entirely on our endowment, admissions and fundraising." Next up the proposal goes in front of the City Council, and if approved developers project it will take four years to build.