Settlement Reached to Preserve Modernist Masterpiece

After a drawn-out saga, Tom Stoelker reports on the settlement reached last week over the fate of the Manufacturers Hanover Trust building in Manhattan.

According to Stoelker, Vornado Reality and preservationists have finally reached an agreement for how to preserve, and redevelop, key elements of the building designed by Gordon Bunshaft for Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) in 1954.

The primary issue of contention between the two sides was how to protect the interior elements of the former bank building as it's converted to retail uses. Victories for preservationists include the expansion of the landmarking to include the interior of the former vault space and the reinstallation of two Harry Bertoia sculptures.

Not all of preservationists' concerns were addressed in the agreement, however. "Several other contentious elements remain. The escalators that were once viewed in profile from Fifth Avenue, now run perpendicular to the avenue, and two doors were inserted onto the Fifth Avenue facade," noted Stoelker.

Full Story: Glass Half Full


Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 2012

Thinking about Grad School?

You need the essential resource for prospective planning students
Starting at $24.95
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."