Last week, I was walking up Third Avenue near 22nd Street when I noticed something I don’t think I’ve ever seen before in New York…
…an enormous, 21-story highrise that appears to have been built to accommodate a diminutive, three-story townhouse below. What bizarre parallel universe had I stumbled into?!
Here’s a view from straight on. The more I stared at it, the more it started to look like a giant game of Tetris was being played on Third Avenue.
As far as I can tell, this is the most extreme example of a cantilever building currently in New York (though there are more on the way). Apparently, the developers of 160 East 22nd Street were not able to purchase the adjacent 274 Third Avenue, which currently seems to be largely vacant save for a fortuneteller. The solution? Extend the new building 25 feet overhead…
…though if you look straight up, I swear they went over a tad. Perhaps the neighbors can ask nicely for the building to remove a foot or two?
Amazingly, this is a scaled back version of the original plan, which was to completely encase the two remaining townhouses:
I really, really hope this isn’t a glimpse into the future of new building construction in New York. While it’s kind of interesting as an oddity, the end result feels extremely claustrophobic, like the little building below is being suffocated, an annoying afterthought.
Sadly, something tells me New York developers are going to become quite good at putting together jigsaw puzzles in the coming years.
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