save 2 Coumbus Circle from the philistines!

2 Columbus Circle

Maybe there's a chance for a last-minute reprieve.

Three preservation groups filed suit yesterday to stop the city from selling the vacant [Edward Durell Stone] city-owned building at 2 Columbus Circle to a museum that wants to strip off the building's modernist facade.

Taking issue with an environmental review that cleared the way for the building to be transferred to a quasi-public agency that would handle the sale, the preservationists demanded a new environmental impact statement on the proposed alterations. They also accused the city of moving to dispose of a building worthy of landmark status "without adequately considering the consequences of its loss."

The lawsuit alleged that because the city wanted to sell the building, the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission was reluctant to hold a public hearing on designating it a landmark. "The city's economic objectives infected the process for considering the potential landmark status of the building and subsequently tainted the environmental analysis that it performed in order to gain legal authorization for the sale," the lawsuit said.

By Vitruvius, it's the only building worth looking at in the entire plaza, er, circle. For more on both the modernist building and the political-economic and aesthetic battle, see the LANDMARK WEST, Recent Past preservation and City Review sites.

[image is historical photograph, courtesy Ezra Stoller, 1964 ©ESTO, on Recent Past Preservation site]

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Published on November 8, 2003 2:33 PM.

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