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kottke.org posts about impei

Silver Towers get landmark status

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 19, 2008

Filed under things I really don’t understand: Silver Towers/University Village, part of a residential superblock complex in Greenwich Village and designed by I.M. Pei, has been granted landmark status by New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Said the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, who battled to preserve the buildings:

Silver Towers is the first post-war urban renewal superblock development in New York City to be landmarked. While such urban renewal projects rarely receive high marks for design, Silver Towers is considered a watershed moment for one of the late 20th century’s most respected and influential architects. The design won awards from the American Institute of Architects and the City Club, was dubbed “one of ten buildings that climax an era” by Fortune Magazine, and was cited as a basis for which Pei received the 1983 Pritzker Prize — the most prestigious award for architects — for his body of work up to that time. Landmarking Silver Towers not only helps preserve an eminently livable place and honors a great work of architecture, but it also acknowledges the importance of our city’s past efforts to create affordable housing and public art.

These may or may not be great buildings, but that whole complex is just this big sucky void between the Village and Soho that no one can get rid of now. Blech.