Biber Architects

Biber Architects

New York, NY


100 Ideas: 010 What We've Lost

By jamesbiber
Jan 23, '12 4:42 PM EST

Viewing Machines for NY History

There is so much gone in New York, often replaced by the very buildings we now adore.  The New York Public Library and Bryant Park replace what was once a magnificent reservoir built in the Egyptian style, which replaced the NY version of the Crystal Palace, and so on.  The World Trade Center replaced Radio Row, and the current void replaced the WTC.  There are some truly sad disappearances:  Penn Station, the original Madison Square Garden, the Astor Mansion, most of Park Avenue, countless brownstones and a Morris Lapidus beauty on 14th Street.

These buildings all exist in memory and some rather spectacular photographs, etchings and even paintings.  A set of viewing telescopes could beautifully recapture the past for the visitor who never saw the original, the sentimental who did, and for all of us to see what existed before living memory.
These viewing stations would allow us to see both the future and the past, as new designs could be inserted as well as old ones.  In fact, it might become the best way to judge the impact of new proposals, renderings being so easily manipulated.  Reality is a bit harder to fake. 

010 What We've Lost on

Rebecca Hackemann's Urban Field Glass Project