Construction on the new Hilton Garden Inn at 237 West 54th Street is wrapping up, and it’s refreshing to see a Kaufman project that’s simply bland and not excessively ugly. The 34-story building began construction last spring, and sprouted rather quickly, topping-out early last winter.
Surprisingly, the unfinished facade looked more interesting than the final result; it has been painted over with an extremely dull shade of grey. 237 West 54th is completely overshadowed by its neighbors 250 West 55th and 1717 Broadway, so the design isn’t all that important – even at 34 floors, the tower is invisible, relegated to the depths of Manhattan’s man-made canyons for all eternity.
The project does employ Kaufman’s classic setback from the street-wall, though the offense is less egregious in this situation because of 237 West 54th’s huge neighbors and the fact that 250 West 55th also sits on a podium; the damage to the block’s urban fabric had already been done.
The new Hilton Garden Inn is expected to open later this year, and – per DOB permits, which also show a temporary stop-work order on the property – it will have 377 rooms.