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Old Posted Sep 17, 2021, 7:53 PM
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Smile NEW YORK | 260 Madison | FT | FLOORS

Gale Brewer's weekly update lists 260 Madison among projects her office is working on for ULURP approvals. The site is just outside of the midtown east rezoning, but that just means it will undergo ULURP.


Curbed just happened to have asked this question, which has nothing to do with the proposal....


Would You Want to Live in an Office Tower on East 38th Street? We asked an architecture firm to do a (theoretical) conversion.

By Justin Davidson
February 19, 2021

Even as a new herd of giraffe-like towers cranes over the midtown skyline and airy work dens keep popping up at the edges, a vast stash of 50- to 70-year-old modernist office buildings sits in Manhattan’s wide midsection, begging for new purpose. Unglamorous and unloved, with low ceilings and leaky joints, many have let themselves go. Their air is stale, their elevators slow, their future murky

When companies do trickle back to midtown, they may gravitate to younger, sleeker towers, leaving these buildings, long since demoted to Class B and C status, to struggle in a discombobulated market. The law of supply and demand presents an obvious solution: convert them to apartments, which are chronically scarce...........
To see how cubicles and conference rooms might be magicked into kitchens and bedrooms, I turned to a small but feisty New York firm, Architecture Research Office, founded in 1993 by Stephen Cassell, Kim Yao, and Adam Yarinsky. Working on short notice and for the eminently reasonable fee of zero dollars, the architects engaged in a whirlwind bout of research and creative thinking.

As their candidate for rejuvenation, ARO chose 260 Madison Avenue, between 38th and 39th Street, a bad building by an architect who had once been good. In the 1930s, the Austrian-born Sylvan Bien designed some flamboyantly New York–y hotels like the Carlyle and the Beverly (now the Benjamin), all stripes and crowns and crenellations. After World War II, he retooled as a sober modernist, and in 1950 replaced New York’s most extravagantly baronial residence, Charles Schwab’s Riverside Drive mansion, with the no-frills red-brick Schwab House.

The stepped stack of 18 floors at 260 Madison Avenue was in the works by then, its appeal boosted by a timely amenity: a nuclear fallout shelter big enough for 4,000. It opened in 1952, and even the upper floors felt slightly bunker-like; commercial-grade ducts give the offices 8.5-foot ceilings, low enough to make a tall man slouch preemptively. (A residential rehab would raise the ceiling height to an adequate, if not palatial, ten feet.)
Like many buildings that predate the 1961 zoning code, 260 Madison couldn’t be built today. It’s stuffed with half a million square feet of interior space, about 80,000 more than the law allows. And yet every one of those square feet is the equivalent of a box of cash: no developer willingly throws one away. Accordingly, the architects slide the missing mass up a handful of floors, affixing a new structure onto the existing one. The result is a shape that turns more corners, captures more daylight, and sculpts a more varied form......

NEW YORK is Back!

“Office buildings are our factories – whether for tech, creative or traditional industries we must continue to grow our modern factories to create new jobs,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer.
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