Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ukrainians Surrender?

Curbed reports today on The Sun's story about the next giant glass box coming to Cooper Square. The Sun says the Ukrainian community "surrendered to it amicably." Surrender does not mean support and I can speculate as to why they surrendered, other than having no choice in the matter.

Let's not forget that a few years ago, Cooper Union was making moves to erase Taras Shevchenko Place from the map. The Ukrainians went wild. [NY Times] [Brama]

Then Cooper Union tried to reduce the transparency of their "communal hive," thereby blocking views of St. George's church. The Ukrainian community was not happy about this. [Villager] [Brama]

There was even talk about demapping Astor Place. [Villager] This was around the time Cooper Union was leasing the Astor Place parking lot to the "green monster." [Voice]

Then, "in a bizarre twist," Cooper backed off the demapping plan and, apparently, returned to their original design for transparency.

Super-gentrification is trauma. When someone is in the midst of trauma, they often dissociate. They go limp. Such a defensive strategy can look like surrender.

Cooper Union began the bulldozing of Astor Place at the turn of this century. [NY Press] There will be more to come. [Curbed] What else is there to do except surrender?


Greg said...

That Sun article was such a spin job. No facts whatsoever. It seemed designed to perpetuate the preposterous notion that Thom Mayne's hideous buildings are admired by people who aren't architecture critics.

"Many in the Ukrainian community were initially opposed to nine floors replacing the drab, two-story 1912 Hewitt Building, but the renderings showed the structure to have such lightness, permeability, and transparency that the community eventually surrendered to it, amicably."

Give me a break. The Hewitt Building was understated and dignified. There is no way this new monstrosity won anyone over.

Anonymous said...

I will NOT surrender either--all this is shit--shit stinks-

Anonymous said...

I have lived in this neighborhood for much of my life, as I still do, and I much preferred the old, modest, attractive Hewitt building, which fit the neighborhood, to the horrid eyesore of the new glass building. The new "building" looks like an act of demolition.

By the way, I am not against modernization of the neighborhood per se; the Cooper Hotel, for example, is an elegant and beautiful structure, unlike the amoeba-like glass tower on Astor Place.