Tuesday, February 13, 2007

50 Trinity Place


The building has a highly detailed Terra Cotta facade in excellent condition, with grand proportions connecting us to New York's old European past. This nice piece of a century old architecture is perhaps not entirely unique but given its excellent condition (intact above first floor) I think we should we consider a kind of an urban crime to demolish it. Lets hope those plans change, that the owners will show some taste and the demolition plans will be scrapped.

An longtime excellent deli serving the neighborhood for many block radius has been forced to shut down, creating a void for nearby residents who are interested in neighborhood-reinforcing measures rather than the wrecking ball.

If the building will be razed, we expect that this website will serve as a memory of how heavy handed our disposition to our great New York City can be. If the structure is left intact, the building has great potential as a landmark address, with its generous windows and ornate details. And most of all, its service-functionality to Trinity Place and Rector Street.

One can only appreciate its handsome scale and proportion, hard to comprehend unless you stand near it, fitting in quite well with the neighborhood. Its an old-timer scale-wise built like a smaller version of the uberscaled yet not so big JP Morgan 3 blocks away. Certainly not an architecture masterpiece by rigorous architectural standards, 50 Trinity Place was built with some ambition and a particular taste.

It most likely is far better than whatever will be built on the site, considering the invasion of generic brick boxes and nowhere land street insensitive structures, popping up like pound on the chest "We Need Rebuilding"-cancer all over downtown with doormen behind large sheets of glass ready to question your smallest curiosity. Now it appears the building will be collapsed by an actual inside job, a downtown building bonanza that seems to carry a careless attitude for the neighborhood and the history that belongs to the area, truly unique to the history of The USA.

For Trinity church and its graveyard across the street, a tall structure will cast a shadow on the very old cemetery trees in the already sun-starved Trinity grave yard. Over the corner of 50 Trinity Place today actually shines the afternoon SUN to daily bathe the graveyard in a afternoon light. A tall building here will block the sun reaching the graveyard.

3 comments:

Christopher Gray said...

Yes, lovely little thing, designed in 1907 by the otherwise rather predictable Clinton & Russell for U. S. Express. Sweet and innocent - peculiar to build 3 stories at a time when this had been skyscraper territory for a decade.

Christopher Gray

Kylia said...

Good words.

Anonymous said...

No doubt the building's interior has been retrofitted over the decades. My encounter with it was as a place to grab lunch, a cheese burger and a beer in the very early eighties. I was working at 130 Liberty, Bankers Trust. It was part of one of those Irish pub chains now gone. McAnn's? The interior was a 1940's style bar in the front and a big floor space with tables toward the rear. Big staircase on the side leading up to rest rooms. The odd thing to me was a tiny balcony with more tables wrapped around three walls overlooking a two story space in front over the bar and floor space. The first thing you notice in New York if you are not a native is how precious interior space is and generally used. The look and feel of the place was that of a 1940's gin joint with a big dance floor gone to seed.