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News May 2010

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Pei Building in Peril redux: Silver Towers in Greenwich Village

May 19, 2010

As part of its 2031 expansion plan New York University (NYU) has announced plans to build a 40-story tower for a hotel and faculty housing on the Silver Towers site. Designed by I.M. Pei and Associates and completed in 1966, Silver Towers (originally University Village) was given NYC Landmark status in November 2008. Despite testimony by DOCOMOMO New York/Tri-State and many others supporting designation of the full superblock site, the Commission made several cut outs to the three-block site. As designed, Pei’s urban plan is testimony to what could be done well on a 1960s superblock. The interrelationship of buildings and open spaces, tall structures and contrasting low structures is a significant part of what makes Silver Towers landmark worthy. NYU’s proposal will have to win approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the commissioners will have to decide whether a fourth tower negatively impacts a super superblock. Public hearings before CB#2 could start as early as June. Stay tuned for more details in our June email news.