The staunchest famous supporter of the fight for continued lollipops at Two Columbus Circle has up until now been Tom “I am Interested in Architecture” Wolfe. But today we were given a letter by the founder of Landmark West! (the exclamation mark was still not thoroughly explained, but Milton Glaser had something to do with designing the brand identity) written by Chuck Close and undersigned by people from Vincent “Don’t Call Me Dana” Scully to Michael “Exquisite Corpse” Sorkin to Susan Weber “Yes That Soros” Soros to Robert “A.M.” Stern to Robert “I Heart Kitsch!” Venturi to Mark “The Least Interim Chair” Wigley to Jonathan “I Heart Kitsch Too!” Adler to Kurt “Imperial City” Andersen to Michael “No Relation” Formica to Agnes “Gotta Getta” Gund to Jane “Not Jenny” Holzer to LeRoy “Man of Leisure” Neiman to Leslie “Engineer” Robertson to Ken “Glasses” Smith to Alan “We’re Over This Trope” Wanzenberg.
While we thought Cloepfil’s design wasn’t really anything that destructive (Sidekick: “I have no truck with that building.”) it seems that Close (and the undersigned) disagree. We think the terracotta tiles will liven it up and he’s leaving the lollipops at least on a few of the floors. Then again, we weren’t quite sure about the addition and subtraction methodology Cloepfil was relying on (“two additions, one subtraction” do not an architecture make), but overall we’re there: no truck, or maybe just a very small one.
Still, Landmark West! wants a hearing.
From Close’s letter:
We do not oppose the acquisition of 2 Columbus Circle by the Museum of Arts and Design. However, we believe the Museum is headed down the wrong road with its plan to re-skin the building and eliminate its distinctive facade. We also understand that other noteworthy institutions have come forward as alternative owners who would refurbish the building’s unique exterior and make it again one of Columbus Circle’s prized structures.
We support a hearing so that all those who have taken such a passionate interest in this building will have an opportunity to express themselves in an open forum where their voices will be heard.
Back in the day before we got sucked into the blogostrate we wrote a story about the Landmarks Preservation Commission and how unhappy people are with how they behave at their hearings and how underfunded they apparently are, although Chair Robert Tierney found the main report to be full of errors and outdated complaints (they’d hired six new commissioners and everyone across the civic board is underfunded). So even if Landmark West! got a hearing it’s up for stringent debate as to how worthwhile it would be.
But this started with lunch and it’ll end with lunch. And we’re going to have to say that the protestors’ lunches looked much more appealing than our spread.
Our die is cast.