Tuesday, May 25, 2010

134 4th Avenue - Flagship of The New Fourth Avenue

If you'll recall, a few years ago the city re-zoned the stretch of 4th Avenue that runs through Park Slope / Gowanus. At the time, Marty Markowitz said that 4th Ave would be Brooklyn's "Park Avenue". So I was very excited to see this building go up, one of the first to take advantage of the new 12-story height limit here.

Boy was I disappointed.

I hear through the grapevine that the building was actually designed by an engineer, and just stamped by an architect. This helps to explain the horrific final product, but doesn't make me feel any better about having to look at it. What a terrible start to our Park Avenue. It does nothing right. It looks like a cut-and-fold model of a suburban Ohio branch of the IRS. Assuming that the designer actually made a conscious decision to do somethin' kinda historic-lookin', they didn't even take the tiny step of looking at the rudimentary basics of traditional design, evident if you look pretty much anywhere in the city (hint: check out Park Avenue!). Harmonious proportions? Some kind of cornice? Symmetry? The only thing traditional about it is the piano nobile, which in this application only serves to create a stark, lifeless streetscape, as opposed to elevating and glorifying the building. Fuck you, 134 Fourth Avenue!

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