Here comes the new 2 Columbus Circle
Well, here it is -- no longer the vision for the new 2 Columbus Circle, but the real thing. Curbed is already on the case, but we just noticed the beginning of the facade's debut this afternoon and brought back this shot, with more after the jump. The pics offer a hint of what Brad Cleopfil's vision for the former Huntington Hartford Gallery will look like.
A real view of the building seems almost surreal, given the long dispute over preserving the original facade, designed by Edward Durrell Stone. The original controversially never got landmark protection, and some, including Landmark West! and even Tom Wolfe, vociferously fought for its survival. In fact, Landmark West! uses the upper portion of the original building's facade for its Web site's logo.
Stone's 2 Columbus Circle was seen by some as a quirky, but important example of "proto post modernism" that was worth saving. We shared that view, but the marble building had long been a failure as a useful thing, sitting empty for long stretches. Eventually, the city sold it to the Museum of Art and Design and with the funds and will in place to move in and transform it, its fate was sealed, despite the last-ditch effort to save it.
It's a little too early to draw conclusions about the new building. The comments on this Curbed thread, which includes many more pictures, tilt toward approval, We are certainly waiting to see how the building's iconic, lower-level "lollipops," made famous by a classic bon mot by critic Ada Louise Huxtable, appear when all is said and done.
-- Rolando Pujol
And the lollipops in the original, untouched state: