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The Glass Stampede

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24. Alvin Ailey Dance Center
405 West 55th Street
The glass-and-steel modernism powerfully erases the memory of the windowless bunker that was there before, but Iu & Bibliowicz’s design has had less impact than the antics of rubber-limbed dancers visible from the street. If only the shades weren’t drawn most of the time—anyone who likes to watch has to peek in at the corners, transforming the ideal of transparency into a form of voyeuristic lurking. A great swap.


25. 1600 Broadway
At 50th Street
This lumbering, corporate-looking tower at the top of Times Square is really a stack of pieds-à-terre over an M&M’s emporium. With a midsection that looks as if it had been improperly screwed on and a giant billboard attempting to look inconspicuous, Einhorn Yaffe Prescott’s design tries too hard to be jaunty. It certainly doesn’t make up for the loss of the historic if sedate Studebaker Building, which at various times sheltered the car company, a Ripley’s Odditorium, and the birthplace of Columbia Pictures.


26. 4 Times Square
At 42nd Street
A dour, broad-shouldered office building and a Nathan’s Famous stood in the way of the glamorization of Times Square. Fox & Fowle’s handsome landmark for Condé Nast offered the neighborhood some much-needed architectural sophistication, as well as a nice gastronomic rejoinder to the wiener stand: Frank Gehry’s beautifully baroque cafeteria.


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