43. Cooper Square Hotel
27 Cooper Square
When tenants of a ramshackle four-story building refused to leave, Carlos Zapata simply sucked their homes into his design for the tower clad in milky glass. The result is an elegant building that makes a clumsy intrusion, like a well-dressed passenger on a crowded subway train, forcing his rear onto a too-small slice of seat. Such a radical neighborhood transformation needed more tenderness and care.
44. The Lyric
255 West 94th Street
An eminently adequate block-long apartment building wraps itself around Symphony Space. Polshek Partnership’s renovation of that beloved but once-dilapidated venue is one of the best things to have happened to the neighborhood.
10-63 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City
A preservation effort wasn’t enough to save the flatiron Hackett Building, a nineteenth-century red-brick pile that had once been Queens’s borough hall. It didn’t quite rise to landmark status, but the distinctive shape and green cornice should have conferred the staying power that an aging character enjoys. It seems unlikely that H. Thomas O’Hara’s eight-story condo Ten63 will be able to compete in the personality department.