NYU Axes Plans to Add Onto I.M. Pei’s Silver Towers, Plans to Move Across the Street

ARCHITECTURE
By Steve Delahoyde for UNBEIGE

Up until last month, New York University was issuing press releases about its plans to add a fourth tower to their University Village site, home of I.M. Pei’s 1966 Silver Towers complex. While the university knew that it was a tricky proposition, considering the current properties were given landmark status back in 2008, they spent the summer putting together information and short videos, showing off their proposed plans, and how the new tower would compliment and not distract from Pei’s original vision. While they apparently had the famous architect’s blessing two years ago, that seems no longer the case, with Pei recently siding with the new tower’s opposition camp, which has now ultimately led to the plans being completely scrapped. Fortunately for the university, and included in that initial packet released over the summer, they have a backup plan, putting to use the land across the street they purchased back in 2001, which currently houses a Morton Williams supermarket. That building would be smaller in height, but roughly equal in total space, and they wouldn’t have to fight with the Landmarks Commission to get it built. However, according to Bloomberg’s discussion with an NYU spokesman, putting a massive new building there is likely to ruffle some locals’ feathers, so they’re expecting the fight to continue, even though they’ve now appeased Pei.

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