The Fight to Save New York’s Extravagantly ’80s Subway Entrance

The Fight to Save New York’s Extravagantly ’80s Subway Entrance

Square white pillar. Dazzling mirrored tiles. Palm tree line.The 60 Wall Street Atrium, which is also one of New York’s most distinctive subway entrances, is felt by some. “It’s like going back in time.”

In cities where typical subway exits leave passengers on inadvertently dirty sidewalks, it really should be carried on an escalator from a dingy station to a bright white hall. But now there are plans to demolish this spectacular luxury designed in the 1980s and create a more sophisticated and contemporary design.

Something about discarding the flashy and, at worst, flashy atrium at best encourages contemplation. What is worth preserving in a city full of history and constantly reshaping itself? And is 80’s design really historically important?

“People seem to be ashamed of the 80’s,” said 38-year-old Rock Herzog, who runs a very popular Twitter account. Cocaine decoration, Atrium images pop up from time to time. “It feels like an attempt to avoid the” American Psycho “era of New York City. “

Docomomo US’s Liz Waytkus — the US branch of Docomomo International, a non-profit organization specializing in the protection of modern buildings — wants space to be protected. “I was asked by people,’Why are you trying to mark 60 Wall Street?’ They find it scary, “said Waytkus, executive director of the organization.

She admits that people “remove subjective, you know, your own personal tastes” and that it can be difficult to consider the entire work: design, details, references. I did.

“There are a lot of 80’s buildings in New York City. I don’t think the 80’s buildings to be a landmark have been crushed, but this is clearly very high on the list,” she said. Said.

Dramatic space made from Carrara Completed in 1989 with white marble and green granite, it’s more than just a subway entrance. This is a privately owned public space in a 47-story skyscraper (60 Wall Street) that served as the former headquarters of JP Morgan and Company and later became the main office of Deutsche Bank in New York.

Last September, Deutsche Bank vacated space and transferred employees to a Midtown address. Currently, 60 Wall Street is almost empty looking for new tenants. The real estate investment trust Paramount Group, which owns the building, wants to provide the latest information in order to attract.

For those who worked in the building, the atrium was more than just a postmodern sight. It was also a popular spot for gossip and chit chat.

“It was a bit outdated, but at the same time it was a great meeting place,” said Ajay Chaudhry, a former vice president of Deutsche Bank. “It had a personality.”

While hired there, he used the atrium every day for a brief coffee meeting. After quitting his job to work in various banks, he continued to use the atrium as a meeting place.

The building is not a landmark, but was originally built on the condition that 55 Wall Street, a National Historic Landmark, and the city call it a “harmonious relationship.” The 60 Pillars outside and inside Wall Street Echo stuff on 55 Wall Street.

Currently, the future of the universe is uncertain. A proposed plan to change the interior and exterior of 60 Wall Street is being considered by the New York City Landmark Conservation Commission. You are also asked to consider the building and the atrium, which is a landmark. However, even if it is “under review”, it does not prevent construction or demolition.

Kevin Roche, architect of 60 Wall Street, made a very detailed note about the building. Handwritten in 1984, he imagined an atrium with water flowing over rocks, green mountains and plenty of seats to be “bright, bright and cheerful.” He also planned a “pocket of rest and tranquility-a refuge from the busy daily life of the district.”

Roche, who founded Kevin Roche Jondin Crew and Associates with his partner Jondin Crew in 1966, imagined that there would be a music show for lunchtime visitors and offered a rotating sculpture exhibition at the museum. I was hoping for. The two met while working for the famous architect Eero Saarinen, and then founded the company together. After Dinkeloo’s death in 1981, Roche took the sole leadership of the company. In 1982, he won the Pritzker Prize for his “series of well-shaped works.”

Roche, who died in 2019, was also the architect of the Ford Foundation’s atrium on East 42nd Street, designing the Ambassador Grill at Wang UN Plaza, which won the status of an interior landmark in 2017. A landmark of New York City in the 1990s.

Created by architect Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and commissioned by the Paramount Group, the new 60 Wall Street project completely rethinks the concept of oasis.

The company’s “redesigned ground-level experience” is airy, light-filled, “pillarless”, with triple-height windows, 100-foot green walls, skylights, and the Mediterranean. Not like a spa in Singapore Airport. We believe that these changes will allow us to “support a variety of top-tier tenants.”

One of the problems, according to Waytkus, is that there isn’t enough space maintained. The store closed, the waterfall stopped, and the original living fig tree was replaced with plastic palms. “We need to refresh a little,” she said.

But even when it was new, there were injured people in the atrium. In 1990, New York Times architecture critic Paul Goldberger described it as “a mixture of white marble, lots of trellis work, mirrors, and a grid of marble,” and “the overall effect is strange. It’s as frilled, almost feminine, like ice cream. A cream parlor that swells to a huge scale. “

Still, there are those who were born in the 80’s and those who were children in the 80’s who still love the unique atrium and can only see what is lost.

“As Kansan, I feel like New York’s vision of the 80’s, which can only be seen in movies. Brooklyn-based artist Gavin, who created impressive ink and colored pencil sketches in 2019. Snyder, 36, feels like just a small part of it. He moved to New York in 2015 and often stops at the atrium for a quiet break.

Waytkus agrees: It’s just dazzling. It will evoke a reaction. It’s not a passive design. “

“At the same time, it’s quiet,” she said. “It’s a small sliver of’Miami Vice’on Wall Street.”

Is Atrium just another memory that only exists in cocaine decoration Twitter feeds or retro Instagram accounts such as Luxurydeptstore and Asthetic80sdream?

“They want it to be like the place people want to meet, but why don’t people want to meet in a huge ice cream parlor?” Asked Mx. Herzog prefers to use gender-neutral honorifics. “Do I need to be timeless to save?”

A 71-year-old Goldberger, who was recently contacted by phone, called the space “frills” and admitted that it was “a little sneaky” when compared to an ice cream parlor.

“I want to save money rather than turn it into something that just becomes another modern office lobby,” he said. “As time went on, I realized that it was one of the few important interiors since then.”

Waytkus and her colleague agree. “Hopefully we won’t lose it,” she said.


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