555 Sixth Avenue is dreadful. It’s an antiquated brick box from the 1970s with absolutely no character. The windows are small, the balconies are ugly, and the building’s interaction with the streetscape is almost non-existent.
For some reason, Winick Realty Group and Stonehenge are choosing to renovate the building rather than demolish it.
Scores of pre-war buildings come down in New York every year, some that possess worthy aesthetic value and character, and some that do not. All pre-war buildings are more deserving of existince than this monstrosity.
555 Sixth Avenue should be taken down, especially as pre-war buildings continue to be demolished across other parts of New York City. In fact, zoning codes should provide special incentives for any projects that seek to redevelop buildings from the 50s through the 70s. Unfortunately the renovation at 555 Sixth Avenue is already underway.
ODA has been commissioned to revamp the heinous building by adding a small vertical addition. If a building could have breathing tubes and life support, the renderings of the renovated structure make it seem like it would definitely be in intensive care. Sadly, no-one has had the courage to pull the plug, leaving the building to suffer from the enormous number of tumors soon to sprout from its roof.
At least one positive is the building’s interaction with the street post-renovation, which should be drastically improved. Adding ground-level retail that actually fronts the street is the best decision possible from a pedestrian perspective. If only the end-result was aesthetically pleasing.
|555 Sixth Avenue, Renovation Begins|
|The final product of ODA’s renovation of 555 Sixth Avenue: Image from ODA Architects|