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January 3, 2008

Critic Huxtable on West Side yards plans: New York sells itself short

Atlantic Yards Report

From the perspective of Atlantic Yards critics, the plan to develop the West Side yards (aka Hudson Yards) is inevitably superior, because it starts with an RFP rather than an anointed developer.

And indeed, Gov. Eliot Spitzer this week told the New York Observer: We are pleased with the bids as they came in—in terms of the magnitude financially, the scale of the proposals, the creativity, the involvement of some of our most prominent real estate companies and private-sector employers who want to site headquarters there. … It reflects and justifies our confidence that if we did an RFP [request for proposals] for that site, we could elicit great response.

But critics have already offered several cautions. In New York magazine, Justin Davidson warned that finance will trump design, and New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff called it a "grim referendum on the state of large-scale planning in New York City."

And yesterday, Wall Street Journal (and former New York Times) architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable, in a review headlined The Hudson Yards Proposals: Plenty of Glitz, Little Vision, was harsh, writing that only two of the five design teams "appear to have thought about it beyond the standard investment model blown up to gargantuan scale." (She never wrote about Atlantic Yards.)

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Posted by lumi at January 3, 2008 4:38 AM