Big Plans Lack Vision and Ambition in New York

<p>In this piece from <em>The New York Times</em> criticizes plans for a railyard redevelopment in Manhattan as overblown and lacking architectural ambition.</p>
March 28, 2008, 12pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"Given current economic realities, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's selection on Wednesday of a team led by Tishman Speyer to develop the West Side railyards seems like a wishful fantasy. Yet even if the project takes decades to realize, it is a damning indictment of large-scale development in New York."

"Like the ground zero and Atlantic Yards fiascos, its overblown scale and reliance on tired urban planning formulas should force a serious reappraisal of the public-private partnerships that shape development in the city today. And in many ways the West Side railyards is the most disturbing of the three. Because of its size and location - 12.4 million square feet on 26 acres in Midtown - it will have the most impact on the city's identity. Yet unlike the other two developments, it lacks even the pretense of architectural ambition."

"On the contrary, as a money-making venture conceived by a cash-starved transit authority, it signals a level of cynicism that should prod us to demand a moratorium on all such development until our public officials return to their senses."

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Published on Thursday, March 27, 2008 in The New York Times
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