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The Glass Stampede


46. American Folk Art Museum
45 West 53rd Street
The eight-story building, a luminous masterpiece by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, has a bronze-alloy façade creased and cupped like a hand, and an angelic haze of daylight that pierces the glass ceiling. Worth the sacrifice of three battered townhouses.

47. Ariel East and Ariel West
2628 Broadway/245 West 99th Street
The landmarked Metro movie theater remains in façade only, crumbling and vacant. But the paired towers next to it and across the street are a nice surprise, adding variety to Broadway’s jagged profile.

48. The Metropolitan
181 East 90th Street
This bland luxury high-rise, designed by Philip Johnson in his dotage, cost New York four tenements and a handful of democratic local businesses, including the charming, tin-ceilinged Victory Café. The Metropolitan’s amenities, on the other hand, pamper residents only.

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